Saturday, February 28, 2009

cooking for a cold

well, we are all in varying stages of this virus that has been going around. ugh. so i made a quick run to the grocery store to get some healthy food. hopefully it will help us get over the blahs.

S made us smoothies this afternoon. low fat organic vanilla yogurt with a banana, frozen blueberries and strawberries, and a splash of orange juice.

i have a big pot of chicken soup fortified with a few extras to help us fight off the invader simmering on the stove. oh, and it smells so good. i have added fresh ginger which is a natural decongestant and antihistamine.

comfort and healing chicken soup

1 whole broiler-fryer chicken (3-4 pounds)

3 qts cold water
2 tsps salt
freshly ground pepper
a few small slices of fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 medium turnip, chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

fresh parsley
whole grain noodles or pasta (i like barilla plus multigran pasta. this time i used rotini)

put the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. add salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, bay leaf and a small portion of the chopped vegetables. bring to a boil and simmer for 90 minutes.

remove the chicken. remove the vegetables with a strainer and puree in a food processor. add the pureed vegetables and the remaining vegetables to the broth and simmer for another 30 minutes. debone and chop chicken, returning about half of the meat to soup.

add the noodles and chopped parsley. cook until noodles are tender.

serve piping hot.

i think i will fix myself a nice cup of ginger tea. boil a chunk of fresh ginger for 10 minutes. add a teaspoon of honey to your cup of the pale brown tea.

everyday gift: nourishing food

Friday, February 27, 2009


i know. i've been missing in action. between sick kids, major school projects, doctor appointments, decluttering our house and cleaning for the listing pictures, finalizing house plans, shopping for the boy scout camp out this weekend...okay, you get the idea. :o) i am hoping to catch up on reading my favorite blogs and posting a few things tomorrow.

so for now, good night. i am falling into bed and praying that i don't get the crud that is going around.

everyday gift: the end of the week

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

creating the ark of the covenant

during our Bible time, we have been studying moses and the exodus from egypt. what incredible stories of God's power and faithfulness. i often wonder how the israelites could grumble and complain after the amazing miracles God performed on their behalf...and then i hear myself grumbling...and i understand that i have the same sinful genes in my heart!
Veritas Bible Cards, our stack of Bible references,
B's ten commandments, and the ark of covenant.

B's project: the ark of the covenant, a jar of manna,
B and i both hope we can taste manna in heaven someday! :o),
the ten commandment tablets, and aaron's flowering staff.
(amazing what you can do with a can of gold spray paint and sculpty clay!)
as an artist, i love to read about the making of the ark and the tabernacle. God loves beauty! he cares about creating works that are not just practical, but are aesthetically pleasing. in exodus 35 it tells us that "he has filled him [the craftsman] with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts - to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze...." i only have to look around and see taht all the world is filled with beauty. God is the ultimate artist. we are created in His image, with the desire to build, create, design, and appreciate beauty! as i sketch in my journal, weave a cloth, or just arrange flowers on our dining table, i am reflecting God's creative spirit. i pray that my small efforts would glorify God.
everyday gift: my desire to create affirmed in scripture

Thursday, February 12, 2009

happy birthday, abe!

we turned the page on january and talked about our school plans for february when B noticed that the calendar failed to note Abraham Lincoln's birthday! she quickly corrected the omission!

we started the month with a Five in a Row unit study of the book Who Owns the Sun? what a great book. i can hardly read it without choking up. in the story a young boy asks his father a series of questions. he explains to his son how the sun and stars, wind and rain are too great and can not be owned by any man, but shine and blow and fall on all the earth. but he can not explain how a man can be owned. "Mr. Finley may own my body, but I have a heart and I have a mind, and he can never own these. Inside of me, I'm too powerful to be owned by anyone. Inside, I am like the sun." this is such a powerful story and was, remarkably, written by a 14 year old girl. it was a beautiful introduction to our study of abraham lincoln and the civil war.

we choose mississippi as our location for the story and learned about cotton and the cotton gin. we are doing experiments with simple machines and also reading the biography of sojourner truth. have i mentioned how much i love using Five in a Row as our curriculum? i can think of no better way to explore such a variety of topics using the very best children's books and connecting them in such a meaningful way. i am very grateful to the author, jane lambert for sharing such incredible lessons in her books.

here are some of the books we have been reading this week: Abraham Lincoln by ingri and edgar parin d'aulaire, Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by kay winters, True Stories About Abraham Lincoln by ruth belov gross, Lincoln: A Photobiography by russel freedman, The Gettysburg Address by abraham lincoln, illustrated by michael mccurdy, Lincoln's Own Yarns and Stories edited by col. a. mcclure (pictured), and Abraham Lincoln by james daugherty (pictured).

abe's stovepipe hat

ingredients for a log cabin: small empty milk carton, pretzels,
peanut butter, graham crackers, and rolos

B presents her log cabin

everyday gift: freedom!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Home by marilynne robinson

i bought Home with some christmas money and it was my first read of 2009, the perfect book to sit with under a warm blanket with some hot cocoa on a cold winter's night when you're not in a hurry to go anywhere. this is a parallel novel to Gilead, where the story takes lesser characters from one novel and tells their story as it happens simultaneously. it was so interesting to read, especially as the stories intersected, giving you dual perspectives on the same event.

Home is very much a story of a prodigal son, slowly pealing away the layers of his heart and revealing more and more of the mysterious years since his departure. the painful, yet tender relationship of an aging father with his son was very touching. i could feel his stubborn refusal to give up hope and his desperate desire to bring his son back into the fold and somehow propel him to some form of success. the brother/sister relationship was also developed throughout the book; the past childhood experiences still influencing emotions and expectations. i felt this rang true.

overall this is a sensitive look at the heart of a family. although it had a slow pace and lacked something in plot, the author made up for it in character. i really do enjoy robinson's reflective style.
p.s. can someone tell me a better way to add a book picture from amazon? or librarything? thanks!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

a tale from milkweed meadow

when B disappears for awhile and all is quiet, you can be sure she is up to something...usually something good! yesterday afternoon B decided to write a story. maybe it was the new Five in a Row book we started this week that was written by a 14 year old girl that inspired her or maybe it was jo in Little Women who is always writing dramatic plays! whatever it was, her imagination was unleashed and when she was done she had printed her story and presented it to me tied with a ribbon. what a girl.

Once upon a time, there was three little mice called Squeaky, Scrabble, and Shim, and they lived in Milkweed Meadow in a small rose bush....

she ended the episode with a promise, "to be continued..." i can't wait to see what will happen next! and i don't just mean in the story...i mean in the life of my girl who wants to grow up and be an equestrian -veterinarian- artist- farmer-knitter- zoo keeper- weaver- baker- author. ;o)
everyday gift: a budding young author