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Hip Homeschool Moms $15,000 Back to School Giveaway



If you have not visited Hip Homeschool Moms now is the time to do it! There are over $15,000 worth of giveaways going on this week! Tomorrow (August 17th) is the last day to register for some of them, so be sure to head on over there. On this link, you will find all five days listed. Each day, there are different sponsors and different donations. So don’t miss out on any! The amazing sponsors are listed below:


A Journey Through Learning
Academia Celestia
All About Spelling / Reading
Arithmetic Village
BeeYoutiful (makeup, skin care, etc.)
Bella the Bear
Bible Study Guide
Brave Writer
Bright Ideas Press
Classical Academic Press
Classical Historian
Classical Writing
CM Live
Compass Cinema
Desiree Alonso Aprons
Diana Waring Presents
Discount Homeschool Curriculum
Dish Dish
Edmund Scientific
Educational Insights / Learning Resources
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
Geography Matters
Girls of American History
Great HomeSchool Conventions
Heritage History
Home Art Studio
Home Learning Institute
Home School Adventure Co.
Homeschool in the Woods
Inspired. Simply.
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Kathryn Dahlstrom
Knowledge Box Central
Knowledge Quest
Learn with Math Games
Lee Woods
Lilla Rose (hair accessories)
Maestro Classics
Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
Manchester Wood American Made
Martha Stewart Living
Maths on Screen
Media Angels Inc Publishing
Memoria Press
Montessori Services
My Mardel Homeschool
New American Cursive
New Leaf Press
Penguin Books
Pick and Draw Game
Professor Carol
Pumpkin Seed Press
Raising CEO Kids
Raising Real Men
RedWagon Tutorials
Sarah and David Interactive – Learning Hebrew is Fun
Sarah’s Silks
Scaredy Cat Reading
See the Light
Sneakin’ in Science
Spanish Clicks
Stage on Screen
Study Solutions
Textbooks Heaven
The 101 Series
The Critical Thinking Company
The Kid Garden
The WonderMill Company
Touch Math
Tucker-Jones House, Inc
Veritas Press
We Choose Virtues
Young Living Essential Oils

Hip Homeschool Moms Contributor



I am so excited to announce that I have been invited to be a part of Hip Homeschool Moms as a regular contributor!  If you are not familiar with Hip Homeschool Moms, you need to go visit their site and get to know them!  They are a great community of ladies dedicated to connecting homeschool moms for encouragement, information, friendship and fun! They have an extremely active Facebook page (28,000+ members) and an equally active website.  You will find weekly featured team contributor, weekly guest bloggers, weekly linkups, weekly giveaways, reviews, and much more!

What an honor to be included with an amazing line up of bloggers. I am humbled to have even been considered for this opportunity, especially when you look at the talented ladies they have!  This gifted team of contributors write articles that appear on their website and on Facebook and are 100% focused on homeschooling. The articles focus on helping us with resources, ideas, motivation, inspiration, sometimes encouraging us to take time to laugh and enjoy life and other times reminding us of the seriousness of our task at hand. When in a community with so many wonderful moms, it helps me realize we all have the same goal, to give our children the absolute best education we can with a strong moral foundation, we just travel different paths to accomplish the goal.  And, in the process, we should encourage each other to be the best we can be with the skills and talents God has given us.

Hip Homeschool Moms

I hope you will enjoy this wonderful resource as much as I have already! I look forward to seeing many familiar faces and meeting lots of new friends on my new adventure with Hip Homeschool Moms! I will still be writing here as much as always, maybe more with all this inspiration 🙂 

Until next time….

How to Make Homemade Blackberry Jelly

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We planted blackberry bushes 5 years ago and this year they have produced a bumper crop!  We have already picked five gallons of berries and there are that many plus much more still on the bushes!  I made blackberry jelly with my sister-in-law last year, and our boys just loved it!  So, I knew I was going to be making jelly this year, but I’ve never made it on my own.  So, as the name of our blog implies, we learn by doing around here, so today, hubby and I made 21+ pints of blackberry jelly in six batches.  Since hubby manned the juicer, I guess I wasn’t completely on my own, but I was the primary and he was the assistant, LOL!  So here’s how to make homemade blackberry jelly!


How to make homemade blackberry jelly

We started with 5 gallons of blackberries that we have been picking over the course of a week and putting in our refrigerator to keep.  We juiced all 5 gallons of berries and they produced about 24 cups of blackberry juice. To juice the blackberries, we used our KitchenAid Mixer. The KitchenAid Mixer has an attachment that is specifically for juicing. I know lots of folks buy a separate juicer, but I like to really get the full use of our kitchen equipment, especially ones that you invest in like a KitchenAid!! Besides, you can spend as much on a juicer as we did on our mixer! We even grind wheat with an attachment to this mixer!  It is simply a workhorse and worth every dime you pay for them! We did have to clean out the juice attachment once while processing the 5 gallons of blackberries. But that was not much work at all.  

(Note to self:  I really should not call the by-product of juicing “waste” because we feed it to our chickens and they were some kinda’ happy to get blackberries!)  

The Sure-Jell directions as well as our Ball Canning Recipe Book both were VERY emphatic about not making a double batch and that the measurements needed to be exact, so I ended up making six individual batches of blackberry jelly.   

Ingredients per batch (Use precise measurements):

3 3/4 cups of Blackberry JuiceBlackberry Jelly Ingredients

4 1/2 cups of Sugar

1 Box of Dry Pectin

1/2 Teaspoon of Unsalted Butter


Equipment needed:

7 Half-Pint Jars or 3 Pint Jars and 1 Half-Pint Jar

Lids and Rings for Jars 

6-8 Quart Stainless Steel Pot (to cook Jelly) NOTE: I found this great deal on Amazon!! 

Small Stainless Steel Saucepan (to keep lids in hot water)

Large Pot for Water Bath for Canning

Jar Tongs


Jar Funnel

2 Measuring Cups (One for Dry and one for Wet ingredients)

Knife (to cut butter)

Wash Cloth (to wipe jar tops after filling so lids can seal)

Magnetic Wand (to retrieve lids from hot water)



Step One.  Wash jars, lids and rings in warm soapy water and rinse well.

Step Two.  Put Jars in large canning pot for the water bath to get them hot and lids in the smaller pot to keep them hot.  

Step Three.  Pour 3 3/4 cups of Juice in Stainless Steel pot and add 1/2 teaspoon of butter and one package of dry pectin and cook on high stirring constantly.

Step Four.  Once Juice has reached a boil that you can’t stir back down, add sugar, stirring in one cup at a time, but being quick about it!  Let boil for one minute.

Step Five.  Move juice off heat.  Using the jar tongs, retrieve all the jars from the water bath (draining them back in the pot as you go).  Get funnel in the first jar and ladle in the jelly.  Move as quickly as possible.  

Step Six.  Wipe the rim of the jar and place the lid and ring on.  Tighten down rings and move to filling the next jar.  

Step Seven.  Once all the jars are filled and closed, using the jar tongs, place the jars back into the canning pot water bath.  Bring to a boil.  

Step Eight.  Boil for five minutes and remove from water using the jar tongs.  

Step Nine.  Let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.  

Over the next 30 minutes or so, be listening for the “pop” of the lids to show that they sealed correctly.  Once the jars have cooled, you can check to see if they are sealed by pressing in the center of the lid gently. If the lid pops up and down (making a popping sound), the jar is not sealed. But, if you put the jar in the refrigerator immediately you can still eat this jelly.

Just so you know, it gets quite hectic once you put the jelly on the stove to boil.  From that point until the jars are filled and back in the water bath, it is pretty non-stop action. It is not hard to make jelly and it doesn’t take long to get a routine going, but having an extra set of hands really helps during these steps.  I’m pretty sure I would not recommend doing six batches one after the other, but this project is off my list now!  I love marking things off my to do list!  Plus this is a pretty messy process (notice the spill beside the juice in the picture above).  So, I wanted to process all the blackberry juice we had already made.  We had to clorox our white counter-tops to get all the blackberry stains off after I finished!  

Blackberry Jelly 21 Pints

Cost breakdown per batch:

We already had all the equipment, so those items are not considered in the cost analysis.  For one gallon of blackberries, expect to get approximately 3.5 pints of jelly.  

Blackberries – $0.00

Sugar $1.61

Dry-Pectin $2.50

Butter $0.05

Jars $5.00

Equals about $2.62 per pint…. and it’s homemade! Gotta’ love it!   

So, now that I am an expert at this whole making jelly thing, I figured I needed to write a post to teach you how to make homemade blackberry jelly too!  LOL!  Honestly, my boys said it’s better than Aunt Neal’s jelly (don’t tell her that though).  So, even though I may be a newbie, I was a successful one!   PS… that is quite the compliment, it’s hard to top Aunt Neal at anything, much less at cooking!  

Until next time…

Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Amazon Prime 30 day Free Trial


Most of my readers know that I am a complete book-a-holic. As a matter of fact, my used book store on Amazon is named “TN Book-A-Holic”! So it’s official!! I am addicted to books (and especially curriculum)!  My FAVORITE book store is Amazon by far!  I have been a prime member for 5+ years because not only am I a book-a-holic, I am also impatient to get what I just bought 🙂  With Amazon Prime, I get my books (or toys, groceries, music, houseware items, etc.) in two days!  Recently they have added so many new benefits to the membership that I am just starting to really take advantage of them myself.  Amazon lists the benefits as follows:

  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items. Note: If the item you’re ordering is out of stock or unavailable to ship, we’ll get it to you two days after it’s back in stock. Remember to check the cut-off time shown on the detail page. Items are delivered every day but Sunday, and orders over $1300 may require a signature.
  • FREE Standard Shipping on eligible items.
  • FREE No Rush Shipping (typical delivery one week after placing an order).  Note: You may receive promotional credit for selecting No-Rush Shipping. Credit will be automatically applied to your account once the first package from a No-Rush Shipping-eligible order ships. You’ll receive an e-mail as soon as the credit is available. You may select No-Rush Shipping as many times as it’s offered to you, but you won’t be eligible for the credit if you cancel your No-Rush Shipping order or return items from it.
  • Shipping Upgrades to expedite delivery.
  • Free Prime Instant Video access for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Note: Instant Video isn’t available to customers receiving free Amazon Prime shipping benefits through Amazon Student, Amazon Mom, or as guests of another membership.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library access to members in the U.S. For more information, go to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
    Note: Customers in a paid membership, free trial or receiving a free month of Prime benefits with a Kindle Fire activation are eligible. The Kindle device must be associated with the Prime account that’s eligible for the benefit.

The two benefits I personally am most excited about are the Kindle Lending Library and the Instant Video Access. We bought the boys used Kindles this year and we are already using them in our homeschool classroom all the time.  If you are a regular reader, you probably saw the POE post where I purchased Meet Christopher Columbus as a Kindle version for our read alouds!   Kindles themselves are already saving us a bunch of money on books!  But now with the lending library… we should see even bigger savings! The Instant Video Access is great to view videos in our homeschool (and family time). We canceled our cable earlier this year and bought Roku. So with the Roku and this Instant Video access… we have cable replaced very inexpensively!  


Amazon Prime Free Trial


Interested in checking it out for yourself?  Amazon is having a promotion where you can get an Amazon Prime 30-Day free trial to see if you think it is worth the $79 a year.  For us, we know it has saved us money… but you get to evaluate it for yourself.   Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies!  If you are like us, every dime we can save is important right now!  

Until next time…

God’s Crossroad

God's Crossroad, Our ChoiceCrossroads.  My entire life I have never had a difficult time making a decision.  I was never really afraid of making the wrong decision, realizing I could always adjust direction mid-stream.  But here I sit… having hit a major crossroad in my life and not being able to make a decision (yet).  As I ponder why this crossroad is so different than the rest I realize there are many variables making THIS one different, but one primary difference.

God.  First and foremost is God.  

He has transformed me, my goals, my desires, my wants, my focus, my everything!  And this is the first big crossroad I’ve hit since I’m living my life for Him!  I can confidently state that THIS crossroad is one God has brought me to.  I am being pruned, things in my life culled, old habits swept away that are keeping me from Him.  This transformation is why all the other variables have become so important.  Without this transformation, I would be completely focused on me. What works best for MY goals, MY career, MY life, MY desires.  But, it’s not about me… at least, not anymore!  And thus making a decision without “me” being the center of the equation is completely unfamiliar territory.  

Decisions:  Weigh Pros and ConsSecond, I have three boys that trust me and hubby to make smart decisions for them, for their lives, for their future, for their well-being.  I have always relied on myself, to be able to research out a decision and to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision and move forward not looking back.  I am pretty shocked at how completely unprepared and entirely inadequate I feel to make this big decision for our children, to take the risk when it will directly impact them.  I was so very comfortable taking risks when it was just me and hubby.  Completely and utterly comfortable.  But God calls us to walk in faith and trust Him.  See, another area He is really working on!

Third, since my life has been transformed, I now want to be a wife. Homeschool Mom.  Family CEO.  Gardener.  Nurse.  Cook.  Chauffeur.  Tour Guide. Party Planner.  Hostess with the Mostest.  I want to mentor and guide my children in becoming well-rounded human beings reliant on our Creator.  I want to introduce them to the world He made and be there to enjoy it with them; to inspire them to learn for the sake of learning and to experience those things that might shape their future.  To be a lighthouse… as God has called us to be!  To be a guide and to encourage them in life’s storms, especially now that they are all entering puberty, one by one.  I don’t want to hire somebody to do that for me.  How many moms do we know that are chasing the corporate dream and are being robbed of these beautiful, precious moments (and they don’t even know it).  I was one of them, I know oh too well!    Abba is taking me down a very different path than I was on!

We are a Messianic family so we keep the Biblical feasts.  Every feast has a profound impact on me, every single one, including the weekly feast of the Sabbath.  But one that has me in awe of our amazing Father and the provision He provided for the Israelites, is Sukkot, often known in the Christian church as Booths.  We call it the “camping feast” at our home because it is when we retell the story of the Exodus and camp out and live like the Israelites did in a Succah (a booth).  One of the things we discuss with the boys over those campfire meals  is what if we were called out in an Exodus the way the Israelites were?  Would we be able to carry our cherished items on our backs?  How about a wagon, could we pull them in a wagon?  How about an SUV, could we fit them all in our SUV?  How about a cattle trailer, would they fit in it?  How about an 18 wheeler, would that be sufficient?  We quickly realize we have a love affair with our material possessions and we have way too much stuff!   We are apparently having trouble prioritizing what is important and what isn’t.  This exercise on Sukkot reminds us we have to prioritize and decide what is important.  

Let God be the GuideTHAT is where we are now.  We are still working through making this decision as a family.  But I know, if we keep God as our personal Guidance System, our GPS if you will, we WILL make the right decision.  He doesn’t change and will finish what He started in us.  We know He will put us where He wants us to serve His purpose!  

Until next time…


This week we are connecting with Thriving Thursday Link Up Party.  Please be sure to visit the host and the other bloggers… there are some great posts!  Be sure to check out A Lamp Full: Service, I especially loved that one!


Crazy Weather is Getting Crazier!

We have been in full swing for about a month now in the garden.  We are switching from traditional gardening techniques to permaculture gardening and have been in planting mode.  All the cold weather crops were planted weeks ago.  We have been planting early spring crops for a couple weeks.  Just got horseradish in the ground and have so much more to do!  The fruit trees, blueberries and strawberries are in full bloom. The apple trees are blooming at the same time for the very first time since we planted them four years ago.  So this is the first season we even had any hope of getting an apple.  

You are feeling pretty good about the progress you are making and the items that are getting knocked off your garden to do list and then you see this on your Facebook page from your local weather man.  I posted it with this comment:  “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”  This crazy weather is getting crazier!


Temps are falling again in Late April!


The usual “Plan B” is to cover your crops and wait it out.  But that is not feasible  with fruit trees in a backyard garden environment.  Situations like this just makes me realize that no matter how planned and prepared we think we are, think again!  

I have always thought that Joseph’s Biblical example was to be our example… be prepared.  You remember, 7 years of plenty with putting back for the seven lean years?  But I have since come to realize that the blessings, the miracles, full protection and full supplication happened in the wilderness!  When they were completely reliant on God for every aspect of their very existence!  

Men will disappoint us, the weather will surprise us, but God doesn’t change.  It is in the wilderness where we will be provided for.  If you are unfamiliar with the provision He provided in the wilderness, pull out your Bibles and reread Exodus.  

Well, I’m off to go figure out how to cover what I can!  Until next time!  


Our Concentration is Being Sabotaged by Multitasking!

Multitasking is Sabotaging our Ability to ConcentrateI have to admit … I am one of those people who just cannot divvy up my attention well.  I can multitask within a given area, for instance homeschooling pretty well.  But when I try to cross areas, such as farming and homeschooling or homeschooling and cleaning, I seem to constantly be out of balance.  I’m either all one or all the other, I just can’t seem to find the balance!  Well, I read a great article a couple of weeks ago about how our  concentration is being sabotaged by multitasking! It explained so much to me about why I seem to be less organized and less productive these days.  It explained why I completely identify with this quote from the article:

Is Multitasking Bad For Us?


Do two or more things simultaneously, and you’ll do none at full capacity.





Montessori teachers already know this as fact.  We protect our children’s uninterrupted work period like we are protecting Fort Knox.  Because we realize how important uninterrupted time is to their ability to concentrate!  Why do we, the adults, think we are exempt from this same distraction problem?  Could this be why we are raising a generation of children labeled “ADD? ”  In “The Child, Society and the World”, Maria Montessori stated:  

Maria MontessoriThe teacher must recognize the first moment of concentration and must not disturb it. The whole future comes from this moment and so the teacher must be ready for non-interference when it occurs. This is very difficult because the teacher has to interfere at every moment before the children are normalized.”


Montessori saw that concentration was, in fact, the key to the natural development of the child. It became the focus of her subsequent work with teachers.  Montessori trained the teachers to recognize the importance of its occurrence and the degree to which it released the children to work independently and yet in harmony with each other.  She recognized concentration could not be taught or enforced, but that it was, instead, a vital characteristic of human growth and a demonstration that innate mental needs were being satisfied.

As adults we have lost the ability to really concentrate.  Society has imposed on us the idea that the ability to multitask is essential, even vital to success.  With so many companies laying off and employees having to do the work of two or more people, it would seem that multitasking is critical.  But research shows that multitasking is actually leading to less productivity, up to 40% less!   So, I am on a mission to regain the ability to concentrate and really focus on the task at hand.  

One opportunity I saw in our family was creating organization around our daily tasks.  I created a Family Command Center  so everyone can see at a glance, where others are, what each person needs to get done today and to stay on task.  Those things that must get done daily or weekly that are easily ignored or put off to the last second.  This one area has dramatically helped our organization, and given me more time to concentrate on other things, such as creating new works and helping with the boys’ new businesses.  The command center takes the guess work out of what is happening today, what needs to be done, what’s for dinner, etc.  And, I am pretty good at keeping it up to date and organized.  On the occasions that I have not kept it current, we saw the consequences, one big one seemed to be late meals due to lack of planning.  There are so many beautiful command centers out there.  Search Command Center on Pinterest and you will see how many different ideas there are.  Here is the one I created, using primarily stuff I already had (with a few Dollar Store frames added):


Family Command Center

With my Family Command Center, I put the forms I printed in picture frames and use a white board marker to write on them.  For the weekly menu plan, I also create paper ones, because I create I have a month of meals planned out.  I keep them in our family organization binder.  This keeps me from just repeating the same old recipes, week after week.  I am including the links to the forms below.  I am going to provide them in Word so you can modify them to fit the needs of your own family!  

One thing I do not have on the wall, but am going to create is a daily calendar that is broken up into hours.  I am going to commit to hitting the top priorities for the day FIRST and allocating the time to do so on the calendar, trying to avoid the other nemesis to productivity… Procrastination!  We have already had a family meeting regarding the importance of protecting each other’s times of concentration.  One request that I still need to work on is how do we know when somebody is on the computer if they are working on just surfing.  Does anyone have any ideas?  

Here are the forms I used in our Family Command Center, feel free to use and modify as needed!

Weekly menu plan

Week at a glance blank

Grocery List

Daily to do list blank

Daily chore chart

Until next time….

Gumbo with Turkey Sausage

I made a new recipe today that I’ve never even thought about cooking…. GUMBO!  I have been to New Orleans and I loved the gumbo, but we are now eating biblically clean, so I had not even thought about this on our menu!  I was looking through the Better Homes and Gardens New Crockery Cookbook a couple of weeks ago and stumbled upon this recipe.  It dawned on me that I could make Gumbo with Turkey Smoked Sausage in this recipe!  My boys gave it a 9.0 – 10.0 and hubby gave it an 11.  Guess I’ll be making this recipe again!  This is NOT a hard recipe to cook at all… even the roux which I have heard is so hard, was not hard at all.  So, don’t be intimidated by this one!  




Note:  I made a few modifications besides the Turkey Sausage.  I did not cook it in a crock pot, I cooked it on the stove for about 4 hours on low.  I doubled the recipe.  Also, I added 4 cups of Chicken Broth.  So, adjust your times if you don’t double the recipe.  

Makes: 5 servings

Prep:  30 mins

Slow Cook 3 hrs to 3 hrs 30 mins  High setting



  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 ounces fully cooked smoked sausage links, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or 12-ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sliced okra or one 10-ounce package frozen whole okra, partially thawed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice


1.  For the roux, in a heavy 2-quart saucepan stir together the flour and oil until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir constantly about 15 minutes more or until a dark, reddish-brown roux forms. Cool.

2.  In a 3-1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker place water. Stir in roux. Add sausage, chicken, okra, onion, sweet pepper, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and ground red pepper.

3.  Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Skim off fat. Serve over the hot cooked rice. Makes 5 servings.

We are linking up with Everyday Mom’s Meals  If you are like me, I’m always looking for new recipes!  Be sure to check out the other recipe posts!  

Note: Items above are linked to my Amazon affiliate account. The very small amount of money that we make from our affiliation with Amazon is used to augment our curriculum needs. Photos are shared from Amazon.

Peppery Roast Venison Recipe – Crockpot version

We love venison!  It may very well be a southern thang… but we eat our fair share of venison.  We eat biblically clean and deer are clean animals…. so venison has risen on our menu (as has turkey) since pork left it!  


Anyway, back to the recipe… One of my ABSOLUTE favorite crock pot cook books is Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook.  I found this recipe on page 102 for Peppery Roast Venison Recipe – Crockpot version.  

Peppery Venison Roast Crock Pot

Here is the recipe:

Peppery Roast Venison Crockpot Recipe

  • 4-lb Beef OR Venison Roast
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Onion Salt
  • 2 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 TBSP Liquid Smoke
  • 3 TBSP Brown Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Dry Mustard
  • Dash of Nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 3 drops of Hot Pepper Sauce

1.  Place roast in slow cooker

2. Combine ingredients and pour over roast

3. Cover, cook on High 6-8 hours.  (I can tell you the heat was too high for too long.  I have already had to add beef stock to the crock pot to keep it from burning).  So, maybe the first two hours on high and reduce to low for the rest of the 3+ hours.  Obviously check it to be sure it is cooked thoroughly before eating it!

So it turned out great.  Hubby loved it.  Boys really liked it.  It did cook about an hour too long.  So, I’d adjust the recipe to 2.5 on high and 2.5 on low and then check to see if it is thoroughly cooked.  The family rated it a 9 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest score).  So… We will be cooking this one again with the amount of time adjusted accordingly.  

Until next time….





Addicted to the A-ha Moment – Homeschool Version

A-ha Moment Artwork by Gayle Cunningham

A-ha Moment Artwork by Gayle Cunningham



We all do it!  After we present a lesson, especially an abstract one, we watch, wait, looking for that moment.  The moment of recognition, of clarity, of understanding.  That moment when we see the flash of enlightenment in their eyes!  That moment… the AHA moment!  THAT moment is why I homeschool!!!  I cherish the Aha’s!  

I have to assume that this moment is why there are teachers in the public schools!  These moments are so addictive!  As homeschooling families, these moments take on even more meaning to us.  These moments are not only validation that our children ARE learning, it is confirmation that we CAN teach!  

A-ha moments in our house usually accompany a literal physical change in our children’s demeanor where they show a small, shy grin of acknowledgement or sheer jubilation and high-fives of congratulations! Depending on which child experienced the A-ha moment, his personality and how big an A-ha it was… but, we usually see some visible evidence of the moment!  

One of my biggest regrets is not cataloging, organizing, and preserving those moments from my perspective, a mom’s perspective.  This is where journaling, scrapbooking, vlogging or blogging can become a dynamic piece of a homeschooling family.   I know I have already heard … when will I have time.  I can assure you, when our children are grown and gone, we will ask why didn’t we make the time to record these blessings?  I already feel that way now even with my children still at home… I mourn the lost opportunities of documenting their earlier years.  So, I’d like to encourage you to investigate what works best for your lifestyle to document your own children’s AHA moments and start NOW!  I have been looking around to see if there is an A-ha Journal and haven’t found anything that inspired me… So, In an effort to help all of us get better at this, I’d like to ask if you are a parent that has already started capturing the A-ha moments, please share with us!  How do you capture these beautiful moments?  Do you have a blog, a scrapbook, a portfolio, what?  I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone is doing!!!!  


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