Monday, October 12, 2015

Tidbits and Snippets for October 12th

Making Your Home a Haven: 6th Annual Fall Challenge - I have done this for many years and always enjoy it. (Women Living Well)

What You May Not Know About Raising Boys - It's all true! (Raising Arrows)
"A friend of mine who is raising a house full of boys recently told me how her friend with only girls could not relate to her life in the least.  We laughed about how it was nice to be in the company of another “boy mom” who understood the zoo we live in."

Also from Raising Arrows, it's that time of year again - time for our annual Caramel Apple Party! Next year I am going to actually decorate for fall, and we're going to combine the two events on the same day. (This year I'm handicapped by having no fall decorations, but I plan to spend the year collecting some!)

And Here It Comes- The Cultural Celebration of Pedophilia Is the Next Goal - If you don't know this, please inform yourself. It's coming. And if the recent history of this country is any predictor, it will be resoundingly successful. (The Common Room)

If that wasn't depressing enough, here's some more: Gay Agenda Permeates Public Schools With Children's Books - "Explicitly X-rated, pornographic descriptions of sex acts between children as young as preschool age are peppered throughout academic curricula... And now, there’s a new book out that – thanks to Common Core and Planned Parenthood - might just show up in your child’s classroom. It’s Perfectly Normal contains material so sexually explicit that, according to the American Life League, it has been ruled inappropriate for prisoners by a Washington State court." (Deep Roots at Home)

The Reality of Homeschooling With Multiple Children - "I realize that I have SO much to learn as a parent and as a home educator, but I can see how God is purifying me and refining me through this process. I also can look back and see how much progress my children have made right alongside me." (My Joy-Filled Life)

Two pieces that I especially loved from Like Mother, Like Daughter's Bits and Pieces post:

10 Essential Self-Care Habits for Moms - Great post! I can't wait to explore the rest of this fun blog as well. (Jess Connell)

Top 5 Areas I Am Simplifying My Life - I have also really enjoyed reading all the posts in this wonderful blog! (Not My Own)

Craft of the Week

We loved this Easy Paper Pumpkin Craft from Pint-Sized Treasures! Fast, inexpensive, and easy. That's my kind of craft.

To save money (and time running to the store), we painted white cardstock (instead of buying orange), and skipped the pipe cleaners.

The children loved these.

Recipe Corner
We included this spice cake as part of the birthday celebrations for daddy, and it was lovely! Okay, it was more than lovely. It was crazy-insanely-wonderful-MORE-NOW-please!, and only the fact that I am *supposed* to be being good kept me to eating only one piece! Wow, this was good. I used a traditional creaming method instead of the method listed in the recipe.
From the Bookshelf

I picked this one up randomly to read for fun, and it is excellent! So many times we parents don't realize that some of our children's health issues can be addressed with diet changes, and this is a wonderful text to learn more about this subject.
This subject would have been particularly appropriate for my childhood. As a child, I suffered from non-stop ear infections (a not uncommon ailment), and ended up undergoing surgery for ear tubes three times. My mom had none of the information now available about how diet changes (like going dairy-free) and other health changes (like chiropractic care) could possibly have helped us at the time. Instead, they were forced to put their child under the health risks of hospitalization and general anaesthesia three times (plus the long-term ear damage that I suffered as a result).
I am so glad that excellent information like this is available to parents today.

I really thought that this book would let me off easily. After all, I don't have a smart phone, and I just deleted my Facebook account. I'm already hands-free, right? Right?
Okay, well, not really.
While I don't walk around staring at a phone, I found myself so, so convicted in other areas. My tendency to rush our family through routines in a "hurry, hurry, HURRY UP NOW!" frenzy. My over-zealous dedication to my to-do list. My frequent refrain of, "Not now, son, I'm busy - maybe in a minute."
Oh, she got me on so many fronts.
But this book is delightful, though convicting, and I am learning so much from it. I would love to own a copy so that I could re-read it often.
Two quick negatives:
(1) Each chapter has a small section that is black background with white font. I have found these sections so incredibly difficult to read that I've given up on them. I'm sure they're great, but I can't handle the colors.
(2) I would have preferred a more solid Christian grounding in the author's writing. I suppose that her audience is wider without a more biblical base, but I prefer Christian books to be openly Christian, rather than nearly unidentifiable as Christian at all.
(I'm assuming that this book is Christian because it was published by Zondervan. Isn't Zondervan a Christian publisher?)
But beside those two small complaints, I loved this book and highly recommend it. And, as a society, I think that we desperately need this kind of cry in the wilderness to wake up, put down the phone, and start paying attention to what really matters.
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
Historical fiction (for older children and adults) set at the time of the Great Plague Year in London, a subject that we studied recently in our history text. While not flawless (and certainly not for young or easily upset children), the story (particularly the end) is gripping, and it is an excellent text for learning both historical terminology (comfits, anyone?) and the history of the Great Plague of London.
Just after reading this book, I went to the market and found myself unconsciously steering clear of people and holding my breath to avoid contagion. I'd really internalized the plague-fear that gripped London during that time! A fun exercise in learning history.
Highly recommended.

Product Recommendation

We have previously used - and loved! - Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix (which we use for all gluten-free baking), and this week we tried Pamela's Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. It was beyond awesome. Our family devoured every crumb of the two pizzas that I made, and we all loved the flavor and texture. And with no kneading involved, it was actually faster and easier to make than regular wheat pizza dough! I rolled (patted) it out on parchment for super-easy transfer to our pizza stone, and it was just a joy to use. Highly recommended.

(No affiliate links, just wanted to recommend a great product.)

Just for Fun

I have been trying to get back into some barre exercises, and this video has been a great review for me! I love the instructor's sweet and encouraging attitude and helpful hints.

Have a blessed week, dear readers!


  1. Breastsleeping, yes. So glad I stopped listening to the experts with my second baby. Wish I had that first to do-over. It was miserable. Those morons.

    1. Oh, my goodness, yes. YES. I so wish that I had a do-over with my first. The memories haunt me (of letting a newborn cry it out in a crib - sick). Thankfully my wonderful pediatrician (now deceased) was very un-PC and told me to start co-sleeping when our little guy was two months old, but I will feel badly for the rest of my life over those first two months.

  2. Hello Diana!
    I looked over this post and thought, "How do you have enough time and energy to find all this great information!" But I'm really looking forward to checking out some of the sites you recommended, and maybe even trying out those pumpkin crafts with my kids!

    As far as co-sleeping goes, I've always slept with my babies up until the next baby comes along. All I do is help the baby latch on, and then I go back to sleep. I've never had to deal with cranky babies. However, since I'm expecting our next child, I'm trying to get my youngest ready to move out into her crib (she'll be 2 in Dec.), and it's not been easy! I've gotten her to the point where she'll sleep well in her crib for naps, but at night time, she'll scream her head off (I wonder what the neighbors must think...) So, I'm starting her off in her crib at night, and then I bring her into bed with me after a little while. But, by the time the new baby comes, she needs to be sleeping all night in her crib, because she moves around so much. And of course the new baby will be sleeping with me, and breast-feeding on demand. I've always done it this way, and it's always worked so well for me!

    Anyways, hope you have a great day! Jessica

    1. Jessica, so funny! I always look at your blog and think, "Wow, how does she make time to write all those great articles?" LOL Each of these "tidbits" post is weeks in the making, so it's made just a line or a link at a time. I wish I could blog more, and I'm sure you do too! Something about having lots of littles about that makes it so difficult! (How dare my family and children keep me from writing more about family and children?) :)

      What you outline for co-sleeping is almost exactly what we do! Co-sleep with the baby, gradually move it into a crib and out of the room by the time the next baby is born. It's a great method, and I wish the United States could get over it's co-sleeping phobia (kind of like its homebirth phobia). We Americans are just plain weird when it comes to fixating on something and ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Maybe we'll get over it some day, but I'm sure we'll replace it with something else. :)

      Have a wonderful day! Love the new blog look! :)


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