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:
- Researchers propose 'breastsleeping' as a new word and concept - Yes, yes, yes! (Notre Dame News)
- The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland - A million times yes. (The Atlantic)
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.
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.
Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!
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.
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!