Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Week Of School

Well we're off to a pretty good start this year. Wyatt is very excited about "doing school". I have scheduled three days a week to work with him, learning his letters and sounds and numbers. Kelsie is a little overwhelmed with the amount of work that she has had, I think I overscheduled our first day just a little bit. But that is the beauty of homeschool, you can change things as needed. Here are a couple of pictures I took on the first day of school.

Our new science this year is Human Anatomy and Physiology. There is alot more information in this book than the ones we have used in the past. Same author, I guess the subject is just more advanced. But the kids seem to be doing well with it and I think we are really going to enjoy it. Our first little experiment was mummifying an apple. While learning about the history of Anatomy we covered a little bit about how the egyptians had understood alot about the human body, this is exemplified by their method of mummification. We took two apples, peeled both of them, and covered one in a mixture of baking soda and salt. This mixture is similar to the substance that the Egyptians used called natron. The other "control apple" was left uncovered. after a week we took the mummified apple out of the baking soda mixture and compared them. What we found was interesting. The mummified apple was much darker in color, drier and more spongy than the other apple. The "control apple" shrank quite a bit in size compared to the one in the mixture and was quite sticky and almost wet feeling. We realized that this was because the Egyptians knew that to properly preserve a body they needed to extract the moisture from it. It was a pretty cool experiment.
This picture is just after the apples were peeled,
before anything was covered with the mixture.

This picture is one week later, after uncovering
the apple from the natron mixture. The one on
the left is the mummified apple.

This week we have been learning about the anatomy of a cell. The kids are really excited about our experiment for Friday. We are going to make an edible cell. It will include Jello Cytoplasm, M&M mitochondria, Skittle lysosomes, Smarties Golgi Body, Fruit Roll Up endoplasmic reticulum, Nerd ribosomes, twizzler centrioles, and a Jaw Breaker nucleus. Check back after Friday for pictures of it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

School Time

The beginning of our new school year is fast approaching. Our household is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming year...well, I am anyway. The curriculum has been ordered and is expected to be here today or tomorrow. As every homeschool mom knows, that box coming in the mail with the new books is just about as exciting as Christmas morning. I have spent months pondering the choices of what we will use to teach our children this year. I know the areas that each child needs to improve on and I have a plan to help them each become the best that they can be this year in those areas that they tend to struggle in.

Last night I was blessed to attend the Corinth Homeschool Group's first Mom's Night Out of the year. It was kind of like a little mini-conference, with a speaker who is a mother of 13 children ranging in age from 28 (I think) all the way down to 4 years old. It was such a great night! I went into the evening prepared to hear all the organizing tips that a mother of 13 must know. I thought it was going to be an avalanche of how to schedule, great ideas for teaching, discipline tips, academic suggestions. But God knew that was not what I needed to hear. Instead the entire evening was focused on "the better part". Staying focused on what is really important to your children, planting the seed of God's word. Focusing on your relationship with Christ so that you can be prepared to do this impossible task.

I am so glad that I was reminded of this last night. I tend to let the academic side of things take over in my mind. Of course learning is important. They still have to learn all of the things that I planned to teach them this year. But God reminded me last night that what is really important is discipling my children's heart. Along with that comes modeling Christ in front of them every day. I was really convicted by this verse. Proverbs 16:21 says "The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction." another translation says, "the sweetness of the lips increase in learning." This is an area that I really need to grow in. I cannot tell you how many times during the day I find myself speaking harshly to my children. The thing is, I know without a doubt that I will never be able to change the way I deal with my children on my own. But I also know that with God's help I can change.

By the end of the school year last year I was very discouraged. I was burned out. All I kept thinking was how hard it was to do this job of homeschooling, and what a long road I still had ahead of me. I was weary, and I was not relying on God to give me my strength. I was reminded of this verse last night and it really helped me. Hebrews 12: 1-2, "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...."

So this year is beginning with a new commitment to keep Jesus first in our home. To choose "the better part" every day. Joshua 24:15 " Choose you this day whom ye will serve...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." To all of you homeschool mom's reading this, whether this is your first year homeschooling or your twentieth, I hope you are encouraged to continue to run the race that God has set before you. It is so easy to become weary, but God will give you what you need to finish well.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Love of a Good Horse

Since I was a little girl I have had a love of horses. Living in California, in the city, there was not much opportunity to be around them. Despite the fact that I had ridden only a few times in my life I believed that I was an excellent horse rider. Somehow in my mind the fact that I loved them so much and wanted to ride so badly equated to me being good at it. On my twenty-first birthday my wonderful husband bought me my first horse and changed our lives forever. I quickly learned just how much I didn't know about these wonderful animals. We spent the next few years learning alot about how to care for and ride our horses. They became a great passion for both of us.

Over the years we have been blessed to know some wonderful horses. Three of which stand out in my mind and my heart. That first horse that David bought me was my first love, she took such good care of me while I was learning to ride. She was patient, and loving, and taught me what it was like to have a horse you trust and that trusts you in return. The bond that builds between you and your horse cannot be compared to any other. Her name was "Pretty", she was a beautiful sorrell saddle mare. When we moved on to quarter horses and sold her I was heartbroken, and I still regret selling her. I soon learned that replacing a horse you have such a relationship with is not easy, I knew that if I ever found that again I would hold on to it no matter what.

My next great love was a big red roan quarter horse mare named Lucy. We bought her and her mother, Lady, from the same gentleman a few months apart. David bonded with Lady the same way I bonded with Lucy. They were like daylight and dark. Lady, a short stocky bulldog type horse, just like a foundation quarter horse should look. We rode alot of miles on those two, and they gave us some beautiful babies to remember them by. Lucy died in 2008, leaving a three month old filly we named Ginger orphaned. After Lucy died, Lady was our last link to those great times we had when we were riding and enjoying our horses so much. As each child came along it became increasingly difficult to take time to ride. Although we loved our horses we just didn't have the time to spend with them like we used to. We had sold all of our other riding horses and until recently every horse we owned was a son or daughter of either Lucy or Lady. Lady was the Matriarch of the heard. She was kind of the family mascot. We had to stop riding her years ago because she was becoming increasingly lame with each passing season. The past two years were very difficult for her, she was in alot of pain most days, walking was hard for her. She passed away Tuesday, July 27. She was 22 years old. She has been a part of our family for 11 years.

Here she is with one of her babies. She was the BEST mommy we ever had.

So now it's time to move on to the next generation. We kept Ladies last baby, a little sorrell filly we named Sugar. She is now almost three years old and we will be riding her soon. David has been riding Missy, a palomino mare from Lucy for a little while now. She is so much like her momma, I think she may find her way into my heart too, but you can never predict these things. We also have the little filly that was left orphaned when Lucy died so unexpectedly. Ginger is a little spit fire. She looks completely opposite of her sister and her mom. She is a dainty little thing, put together beautifully. Both her and Sugar are very curious and love to be with us when we are outside. They come running anytime we call them or go out in the pasture for anything...even when you don't want them there. All three of them show signs of being good horses, they seem to want to please you whatever you ask them to do. That is half the battle. As long as we communicate to them clearly what they are expected to do and build their trust, I believe they will be great, trustworthy horses. The kids have been learning to ride recently. They are all just about old enough that we can begin our trail riding again and start to really enjoy our horses as a family. I can't wait to build new memories with our kids in tow. But the three horses that we have loved and lost will be forever in my heart. Making me appreciate every moment with whoever moves into it next.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Go Big or Go Home

Gardening season is underway in the Teet household. Once again we have been dealt a bad hand by the elements and were forced to replant everything after "The Great Flood". Even with the late start it is all coming up good now and I'm sure we will have an abundant harvest this year.

I never would have pictured myself as a farming Momma thirteen years ago. David has certainly taught me alot. However, we still have very different ideas of how the garden should look. When we were discussing what should be planted this year we decided to maybe downsize a little bit from years past. Somehow that thought was forgotten somewhere between the planning stage and the planting stage. The pictures below show the main part of the garden. I couldn't even fit it all in one picture!

We have tomatoes, corn, purple hull peas, lima beans, green beans, bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, yellow squash, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, watermellon and cantaloupe. As you can see from the pictures, we kinda gave up on the corn, It was eaten by crows several times and replanted. After staying so wet and replanting it so many times we have let the grass kind of take over. But I should have it all out of there within the next couple of days... if it will stay dry long enough.

"Go big or go home", should be our family motto. If no one sees me around the middle of August don't worry to much. I'm just picking, shelling, freezing and cooking!

Speaking of cooking, I made something the other night that I have never had before. Zucchini bread. A friend of ours brought us some of their zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers the other day. I was so excited to use the recipe's I had found for zucchini bread on Recipezaar! And of course I am always looking for an excuse to use "Lucy". My handy dandy KitchenAid mixer. Yes, I have named my mixer. Some people name their cars, I name appliances. I would name my car too if I had one cool enough to warrant a name. Sadly all I have is the van and the old truck. One day David will build me a cool muscle car and I will come up with an equally cool name for that. Until then I'm stickin' with Lucy.

Anyway, back to the zucchini bread. It turned out great! So moist and sweet, it was delicious when it was still warm and slathered in butter. The kids weren't sure if they were going to like it or not. After all, it did have green vegetables in it. In the end though, the smell coming from the oven won them over and they tried it. It received two thumbs up...

I still have some zucchini left and another recipe to try. This one is for chocolate zucchini bread...sounds good huh? If you find yourself looking for a recipe for zucchini bread I would highly recommend the one I used the other night. It is recipe #3877 on "Fabulous Zucchini Bread".

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Meandering Mommy?

Meander - what does this word mean? Well, The American Heritage dictionary defines it as; 1. to follow a winding and turning course. 2. To move aimlessly and idly.

So why would I call my blog The Meandering Mommy? To me it is obvious, this word describes me to a tee. My adult life has been filled with so many days spent aimlessly wandering! Don't confuse my point here please. I am absolutely sure of only one thing, that my destination is Christ. There is only one path that leads to Him, the narrow path, and I am on that path. It is the journey through the daily distractions that gives me trouble. My attentions are split between being a wife, mother, teacher, housekeeper, cook, laundress, farmer, veterinarian, chauffeur, and coach. And that is just the things I do for my family. I also harbor a laundry list of interests of my own, which more often than not get pushed to the side. However I usually have at least two or three active projects or ideas being planned....even if they never make it past the planning stage. For example, this week I have again become convinced that I must do something to fix the state of American politics...yes, I am reading a Bill O'Reilly book. Since I have so enjoyed this book, I took a little trip to the library where I picked up a selection of books to whet my very diverse appetite. Lone Cowboy, the life story of Will James. The Wives of Henry VIII, and a cute little grammar book called Eats, Shoots and Leaves; which I must say has me feeling extremely self conscience about my use of punctuation in the above sentences (thanks Lori for the recommendation).

The rest of this week will more than likely be spent reading these wonderful books and maybe making a plan for my election to the office of my choice in 2012. I know, its a long shot, but that is how my mind works. I'll just fit in in between my budding cullinary career and my stints playing the Dove awards (after I finish learning to play the guitar and the piano).

My nights all too often consist of me making my "plan" for what I will do the following day. I am an excellent list maker, I love to make lists and plan things on paper. The problem is, when it comes time to put those plans into action, I don't have a great track record. As a result I am often a meandering mommy, with great intentions, just being swept away by whims and fancy and getting not much of anything accomplished.

I hope that I have explained sufficiently the reason behind the title of this blog. It was not a random choice, rather a little window into my personality. Okay, I have to go make breakfast now...Oh, and train my dog. I borrowed this great dog training tape from a good friend. Who knows, I may start a dog obedience club in the area...anyone interested?