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Showing posts from August, 2014

Friday Linky Love

totems giving me the stink eye in White Rock
I've got some goodies for you this week. I've been saving them up for about a month! Elsie Joy's podcast is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She talks about creativity, motivation, small business, blogging and inspiration. I'm slowly making my way through the archives. I need new podcast recommendations like I need another hole in my head. Like my mom says.I loved this idea from Sarah Bessey--to high light local places that need small, but tangible gifts to help the community in which they're found. Some friends and family back in Lincoln are doing a first ever Makers Market in September. I am so proud of them and wish I could be there to see All The Things! This was the best type of back-to-school homeschooling advice ever. (Say it with me: sense of humor, sense of humor, sense of humor)Thiswas pretty gratifying to read(language alert, spoiler: copious F-bombs). The kids have been arguing like cats and dogs for week…

Field Trips Trump Workbooks

one of the best toys in our home, the creativity is astounding
We home school year-round, which just basically means we school until we need a break, or configure in breaks because of family visits, holidays, summer camps, dad's days off, or extremely busy weeks. I've noticed we generally don't take all our allotted time off every year, but I like the idea of rolling it over to when we actually need it. We're very much in the swing of things, and eased in with three weeks 'on', before our next week 'off' when my mom and stepdad come to visit. The following week will begin with classes at their co-op, Ani now participating as a proper kindergartener. 
On my last homeschooling post, I wrote out all of our curriculum choices and you may have noticed a pattern of listening to a lot of good books, computer games, TV (BBC, PBS Kids) series, field trips, and very few workbooks. The only two workbooks we use are Singapore Math, and Explode the Code, the latter …

Recipe Box: Knock-Off Red Robin Crispy Chicken Salad

I barely remembered to snap a photo before I devoured it
We don't eat out much, but when Stefan's in the mood (which is not often, he has more will-power than I do), for a burger, he usually wants to eat at Red Robin. We probably haven't eaten there but three or so times since moving out to Blaine, but I crave their Crispy Chicken Salad something fierce. If you want a salad that is a meal, and you love stuff in your salad, take my word for it and make this at some point this week. You will not be disappointed!  This serving size is enough for 1 person's salad, with chicken 'strips' leftover for 3 other people, at 2 a piece.
You'll need: *3 skinless chicken breasts, thawed and cut into 3 strips a piece *6 cherry tomatoes * 1 medium carrot, chopped *2 cups of your favorite lettuce (I like curly leaf, and romaine) *2 eggs *1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese *homemade honey mustard (1/2 cup each of honey, yellow mustard and then 1TBSP light mayo and lemon juice…

A Stolen Canoe, and Grace pt 4

This is the last part of the story. If you're reading for the first time go to Pts. 1, 2, and then 3.
We'd all had a few days of silence. We had been out camping and we  hadn't heard from the family, the officer, and our boat had not been returned while we were away. We were convinced, however, of our third way, and that evening we invited the family over to talk things through. When they came over about a half-hour later, their faces were somber, I could feel the tension of them all standing in my living room, so I invited them to sit down at our table so we could talk. 
Stefan took the lead and gave them the background of why we felt conflicted, according to evidence, but how we were also confused, based on this person's character and integrity they'd shown us in previous instances. The family was starting to relax a little, and I knew they'd be happy with what I had to say. When I explained what grace meant to us, and how we would like to offer it to [them],…

A Stolen Canoe, and Grace Pt 3

This is the third installment, start at Pt. 1, then Pt. 2

None of this felt right for Stefan and I. We went back and forth trying to decide what we should do. Our emotions were high because we've had such a rough year, and it seemed like the police officer was very convinced this person was guilty. There was a matter-of-fact statement of an eye-witness. The person was seen by others near our home within the 24 hours the boat was taken. A scared response came out as, "I'll buy them a new one!" that the officer reported. All of this was influencing us.

This young person is out of high school. They are a legal adult and this would be a big red mark on their permanent record. We knew this kid. We didn't want to cause this family grief, we just wanted our boat back! From the beginning, we had always reiterated to the officer that we did not want drama, hassle, court dates, or anything else, we simply wanted our boat returned to us. The officer thought that was fair an…

A Stolen Canoe, and Grace pt. 2

getting ready for a trip

This is the second installation in the story. See pt. 1 here.

When I answered the door, expecting to see Stefan after a long day of work, I came across a family member to the person in question of stealing our canoe--their mother. Again, we had a good relationship with this family and I was surprised. I didn't remember my manners and ended up talking to her in the hallway while I was half shielded by my door. I was still a little bit guarded from the morning's information and I didn't want to speak too much--not only did I not want to regret any words, but I really wanted to try to be wise, and not sound accusatory. She was crying and so confused about the whole thing. Her child would possibly have this on their record if we decided to have the police write up the report, which would ruin their possible career choice in the near future, since a black mark for stolen property is a big deal once you're an adult.

I told her I didn't know what …

A Stolen Canoe, and Grace Pt. 1

a trip down Dakota Creek in our new-to-us canoe
This is a very strange story. Fair warning. *
Our family has had so many ups and downs this year. Sometimes, it has felt like mostly downs. This story is one of those times, which felt like another new down, but turned into a surprising UP.
I go to a Zumba class every Monday and generally take the kids with me, because Stefan hasn't come home from work, and they have childcare. When we hopped out of the car after the class, Lukka noticed our large 17 foot canoe was missing. Strange, since no one lives near where it is parked. It's hidden behind a fence, so only the people in our small neighborhood area (or all the people that visit one particular neighbor, ahem) would even know it's there. We sort of assumed that our rental company had confiscated it, thinking it belonged to the past tenants who had lived in the spot it sat outside of. We shot them an email and the next morning, we got a reply. Nope, they wouldn't have ta…

What does "Make Do and Mend" look like in 2014?

Above is a picture I snapped in between Lunchables and math work at the local laundromat this morning. For the last year and a half, we've done our wash in between cleaning up kids' rooms and getting dinner ready, but yesterday, I discovered a literal pool of water drenching our hallway carpet. Thank goodness we didn't throw in the load and leave, as is so often the case. Our washing machine went kaput, and unfortunately, at the end of the week, we're all nearing the no-man's-land of an empty underwear drawer, so off to the laundromat we went this morning!
Make Do and Mend is one of my favorite phrases, because it has meant a lot to me over the last 9 years of being married and going through financial stress at times during that near-decade. Honestly, we have done so well for getting married extremely early in life (19 and barely 20!), having kids very soon after, buying and selling a house, managing a rental property, moving across the country, and numerous job ch…

Homeschool Curriculum for 2014-2015

Octopus suckers // field trip to Bellingham's Marine Life Center
I've encountered a bit more curiosity about homeschooling here in Blaine than I ever did back in Lincoln. I chalk this up to Blaine being a super small town (without a large number of homeschooling families), most of the people I interact with being somehow involved in the public school system, and many friends just now entering into parenthood, as opposed to being in the same 'child-years' season that we are in.  Even though there are a myriad of ways to homeschool, I would say we are 'highly structured unschoolers', which is sort of an oxymoron. I love planning and finding resources for our kids including games, books, read-alouds, field trips, documentaries, even down to the workbooks (hint, we only use two) for my 2nd grader and kindergartner . I hodge-podge classical education with Montessori theory, roll it into a ball with a lot of art and a relaxed schedule and there you have it. There is …

Eating the Frog, Big Girl Undies, and Nike Slogans

// Found this gem at Birch Bay //

Ever heard of 'eating the frog'? This phrase is attributed to Mark Twain and it goes a little something like this, "Eat a live frog the first thing in the day and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day".

I love advice like this. "Eat the frog." "Pull up your big girl undies."* "Just do it."  I revel in this kind of advice, because I'm productive, internally driven, self-managed, and efficient. My personality type on the Meyers-Briggs test is INTJ, the rarest kind for everyone, but especially women. I eat logic for breakfast, research and discipline for lunch, and my dessert of choice is getting things done.

I am self-structured enough to exercise 4-5 times a week religiously, wake up two hours every day before my kids to write, study, read, and check/respond to email and social media. I can actually hit these targets like Annie Oakley playing a carnival bullseye game. Mainly? I rock at …


This week is already escaping me. Back-to-homeschool(ish) routines, fun summer events still, nights at the beach, lots of ideas written down and none ready to publish, you get the gist. Please excuse me this week as I get back to regular posting on Monday!