Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tidbits and Snippets for November 17th

Hello, everyone! I hope that you're having a wonderful week! Around here we are just good and... sick. After a week and a half, I am the last one standing while the bug circulates through our house. We're clearing our schedule and camping out at home while we wait for everyone to feel better, and in the meantime, here are a few fun things for you all! 

God's Not Really That Holy, I'm Not Really That Bad - "If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you, too, have known people like this. Over time it became clear that their faith had been a mirage. They had deceived the people around them, but they had first deceived themselves. And any time I see these people fall away I am left asking, What would have marked them as true believers? How could I have known that they really got the gospel? How could they have known that they really got the gospel?" (Challies.com)

Secondhand Christmas Gifts: Money-Smart or Scrooge at Heart? - See, I'm not the only one! (The Humbled Homemaker)

(Actually, I love receiving second-hand gifts. They feel like they have a history, and like they've been specially selected. Anyone else feel this way?)

How Long Do Homeschool Lessons Really Take? - This is truly the down-and-dirty, minute-by-minute per subject, per grade level. Pure gold here. (Raising Arrows)

What Keeps Moms From Getting Enough Rest? - Excellent points from several mamas. I agree - it's always over-commitment and lack of planning that gets me. (Jess Connell)

Shutting Down the Homeschool Fight (Before It Even Starts) - One of the best (and funniest) articles I've ever read on the subject of answering questions and challenges posed to home educating families. (Simple Homeschooling)

Remember, everyone....

If you're putting together an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, collection week began this past Monday, November 16th, and lasts through Sunday.

This is our first year making an OCC shoebox in a very long time. It was fun!

I have to admit the sorry truth. I didn't start this project with truly philanthropic motives. I really just wanted to have an antidote to the me-me-me attitude that some people's children (certainly not mine) may or may not exhibit around Christmas.

But as we progressed, we all got interested in the project, and it was a lovely time of others-focused ministry. The children had a wonderful time, and we are planning to repeat this every year.

Packing an Operation Christmas Child box can be pricey - or not! Here are some of the ways we saved money to it a bit more economical:

  • I stocked up on school supplies during July, when they're on sale here in Arizona. (Pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers).
  • I shopped at Goodwill. Items need to be like new, but that's easy to find! (Stuffed animals, hat, ball, matchbox cars).
  • I let the children add some like-new toys of their own. (LEGOs)
  • I filled in loose ends at the dollar store. (Pencil sharpeners, paper pad, candy.)


From the Recipe Box

Radishes! Radishes! Did you know that cooked radishes are a great substitute for potatoes in low-carb cooking? Yes!
I used radishes in a low-carb beef stew, and also in this wonderful hash browns recipe. I used bacon grease instead of cooking oil, and cooked them for about 20 minutes before browning. Once you get past the pink color (I just thought of them as mini red potatoes), they were delicious!

Four bunches of radishes, quartered.



From the Bookshelf

I originally thought that this book was a summary book of "sugar and health." It is, but it also has a specialty area - diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a condition about which I knew very little before reading this book. 

And now I know a lot!

This was a fun book. Easy to read, lots of great information. A great read for those of us who read obsessively on health, or, for the rest of the normal population, a great book for those who want to learn more about diabetes management and the treatment, reversal, and prevention of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. 

I came to this book reluctantly, as I didn't care for the title (and still don't). But it was recommended by a friend, so I decided to give it a go.

And was I glad that I did!

This was an amazing book, full of awesome food chemistry and food history. It contains a thorough review of all of the modern concerns in the "health vs. food industry" wars - fats, sugars, food additives, etc. - and the handling is both in-depth and user-friendly.

If you want to learn about food (and to avoid the myriad of problems caused by modern fake foods), this is an awesome resource.

George Washington's Spy

The basic plot: Children travel back in time to the Revolutionary War, where after getting separated, some shelter with Tory Loyalists and some join the Patriots.

This is my current reading book for our daily history reading time. It's a fascinating book that I am greatly enjoying, and am finding (so far) much better than the Magic Tree House books. I love the balanced approach of showing the good (and bad) sides of both Whig/Patriot and Tory/Loyalist forces.

This book does provide some fairly detailed less-than-pleasant historical details, including: public hangings, tar and feathering, chamber pots, medical bleeding, death, etc. - so make sure that any child to whom you give this book isn't too young or sensitive to handle the material.

This book is actually the sequel to the original "George Washington's Socks," which our library unfortunately doesn't have. I hope to find a copy of it some day!

Especially for Locals

Getting Started Homeschooling
Saturday, January 16, 2016, 10 AM - 1:30 PM

If you’re new to homeschooling or thinking about this exciting education option for your family, be sure to join us for this 3-hour seminar. AFHE board members will present three workshops including Getting Started Homeschooling, Curriculum Approaches, and Ideas for Lesson Planning and Scheduling. Lunch is included.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT: Desert Foothills Library, 480-488-2286
More information here.

This event includes some of my favorite local home education speakers. If you're new to home education or are considering it, this will be an awesome event! 


Dear readers, have a wonderful week! 


  1. That Challies post is good stuff. Also, I had no idea you can cook radishes! I love them raw, but I'm skeptical about applying heat. You sure? Really, really sure? ;) Feel better, lady!

    1. Yes, really! :) They really loose the tart flavor in cooking. And when you boil them, for example in a stew, they also lose the color completely and turn brown - perfect for "potatoes." :) When they're pan-fried, they turn light red. I wouldn't have known if someone hadn't told me what the potatoes in the stew really were! :)


  2. I love doing the OCC shoe boxes with my kids. The kids chose the same age and gender to shop for. It's really sweet to see what they come up with, what they think is "important" and what they want the kids to play with. Oh bless... It's an awesome way to "ring the bell", and let our kids know how priviledged they are. It's better to give than to receive! I hope that this tradition will continue on as long as possible! I also did something completely different this year with my shoe box. I labelled it for a teenage girl. I went to a sewing class and learned how to sew cloth pads! I sewed 7 cloth pads with snaps and bagged them up with washing instructions. I hope they come in handy! God knows, right!? HUGS!

    1. Cathy, what a great idea! I love that! Absolutely perfect. I agree, OCC is a wonderful ministry, and I'm so glad we finally took the plunge. I'm going to start Goodwill shopping right away so that we can slowly collect things for next year.

      By the way, I can't WAIT to read your newest blog post. I haven't had time yet, but I have it up in my browser to read. It looks awesome. :)


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