We are off to the Holy Sacrifice of the mass! Check back with us later, and don’t forget to use MassTimes.org to find a Catholic church anywhere in the U.S., and see what time those churches offer mass, confession, and more!
It seems this is becoming the essential business scheme of choice for some businesses, entertainment fairs, festivals, and carnivals of late. Especially to a whole location like Orlando Florida. Read more…
Megan’s Ryan’s Voice – Murphy’s Law of Homeschooling States: Once you get into the swing of things something will happen to ruin it. Last week the big boys caught the colds from the wee ones. Since I am not a MERCILESS slave driver I gave them a bucket next to their desks in case they had to stop working long enough to toss their cookies. No, we took a couple of days off but now they will have to do some catching up since some of their classes are online and therefore less forgiving.
Kindergartener promptly contracted the same cold back from them and got sick again. Fortunately that doesn’t phase his school work since he still has just as much energy as always. It’s turned out pretty nicely having him on a schedule of work rather than the very loose lessons that comprised his preschool education. He is old enough now for me to tell him to complete X Y and Z before leaving his place at the table. That leaves me a few free moments to attend to Toddler 1.1 or do REALLY important things like…take a bath.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Homeschooling is the kewlest thing one can ever do for their children, bar none – period. Those individuals who argue about, “Well, how about their social skills?” and this and that don’t know squat. Peons of a communistic educational system – indoctrinated zombies thinking in the same manner. Unfortunately, these are the individuals whom we need to be careful of. The may stop at nothing to destroy our right to educate our children just because they think they can do better.
Neither here nor there, it is exquisite to watch our children growing right in front of us. It is a treat to be able to teach them everything we know too. Oops, we get in trouble for that.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - It’s only week four of this year’s homeschooling, and already I can’t wait until it’s over…sometimes. Most people automatically assume the material/teaching is the hard part about homeschooling aka am I smart enough to teach? That’s not it. The REAL hard part is discipline, especially schooling teenagers. Being the teacher AND the principal and meting out the punishments, then stickin’ to yer guns. Teenagers are professional soldiers when it comes to emotional battles, and it’s all too easy to get stuck in trench warfare with them. Our teens are no different. They aren’t sassy, gum poppin’, eye rolling brats like a lot of public schoolers, but they are stubborn all the same. (Aren’t ALL teens??) They are having the usual difficulty (denial) in getting back into the new/old routine of school, and they are making everyone pay by shirking work and walking around with silent but dark thunderclouds over their heads. I’m SURE I was the same at that age – I freakin’ hated school.
As you know, I already warned them not to try last year’s shenanigans, but they’re doing it anyway. Neglecting subjects A, B, and C because they are at their mother’s house those days, and she doesn’t sit on their shoulders (like us) and ensure they complete all their work by the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t crack a whip behind them all day shouting, “Heeyah mule!”. I write out the days work in a notebook and leave them to do it during the day. When it is finished, THEN privileges begin like having friends over and TV watching. If it isn’t done by 6 PM they have to stop for the day, do some push-ups (disciplinary action), and roll the work over into the next day and even into Saturday if need be.
It’s times like these Marcus and I fantasize about throwing in the towel. And I DO mean fantasize. “Hey honey the kids are in school! What do you wanna do today?! Drink ice cold beer at the beach?? Done! WHEEEeeeeeee!” Then we wake up and stick to our guns for one more day, then another, and another after that.
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Duh gone it! I don’t know how we’ve been able to manage without the public school system for, what, seven years. Well, well, well, a lot of patience and stamina; brain stamina. Ha ha ha. Hey, don’t sweat it, let’s have some fun. You know it’s been fun.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Okay, I need a little encouragement right now. If you recall from this post, I have so much trouble growing plants that I can’t even cultivate weeds. Well, I took the plunge recently and planted some catnip (a weed), sage, italian lavender, and oregano (also a weed). Two months later and what is growing? Only the oregano. That’s a 25% success rate, folks. ~sigh~ Plus, it’s not much of a success when the ONE plant that is growing is a weed, and the other weed did not survive…didn’t even sprout! This past year I have planted FOUR weeds and only one of them grew. Can you guess what the fourth weed was? Dandelions! I. can’t. grow. dandelions.
Oh well, at least we can enjoy homegrown, organic oregano in our favorite dishes (Marcus’ famous pizza sauce!) as well as use it to relieve headaches, fever, earache, and even toothache! Click Here to read even more medicinal uses for the only weed I can grow.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – I. Think. It. Is. The. Sand. Yep, the sand. We live in a sandy area of the continental united States of America. Not just any sand, but construction sand. Something else is that it’s been raining like I can’t remember ever raining around here this summer. It’s been a bliss, but too much water can kill anyone, so I’ve heard.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Wow it has been a busy two weeks! Not only was it our first and second week of homeschool being back in session, but then we upgraded Preschooler 4.12 to Kindergartener 5.0 on Saturday with a little party. He had a blast with his friends being silly, munching snacks, and blowing out candles. The candles on my first homemade, 100% organic birthday cake. It’s a feat I’m proud of and never thought I would (or could) accomplish if you asked me two years ago. I digress. It was so cool to watch him have so much fun. Thank you, Jesus for all of our children. Thank You for parties, and little friends, and big fun.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Kindergartener 5.0 was in love. It is a remedy to being alone with a pair of old peeps like us, right Megan? The little rascal was distributing, “I love you” to everyone he met this weekend. Hey, at least it wasn’t, “Mami, Papi is that lady naked?” – this one is for another post. For now, let’s reminisce on the fact that this little rascal is incredibly outgoing, something I lack from time to time. Hey, I was, but I ain’t no more ‘cause peeps kept drilling my social-ness into the ground.
Last Monday was a great example of this little rascal’s outgoingness. We went to a nearby theme park and it so happened that the park was nearly ours to enjoy, but wait, no not really. We experienced a British invasion of sorts. We didn’t mind. It was like being over there, in England, without having to pay for an airfare to visit them. Well, the little guy went on the River Rapids Ride for the first time and it blasted him, but he enjoyed it so much he proclaimed it to every single Brit that came onboard the (five trips) rafts we occupied. He had a blast, and the people around him had a blast and appeared to enjoy the little guys’ comments, “We are going to get wet… again!” Sure enough. People got wet, and he told them, “See, I told you!” and they laughed.
Yes, a few times he said, “Papi, it was all right, but there were some ladies naked.” i.e. wearing skimpy clothing. Nevertheless, I think he will rise to the occasion again and again.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Woohoo! I’m so excited! I feel like a little kid again. Why? One word….tadpoles. Yep, those little squiggly things that turn into frogs. We found approximately one billion tadpoles in our rain barrel today, and I started jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning. They are tinier than the ones I grew up catching on the farm (think big fat North American bullfrogs) so I’m guessing they are the offspring of the tree frogs who recently made a home of our back porch. (Sigh!) I have great memories of growing up on the farm and catching about a million tadpoles and other watery creatures with nets and bare hands. Preschooler 4.11 was napping so I grabbed an old giant pickle jar, scooped some inside, and brought them inside for him to find when he woke up. He was delighted too. We talked about how they would transform into frogs, and how we would then put them back outside to catch all the bad bugs like mosquitoes. Honestly, what could make a better homeschool science project for a little one?? Stick ‘em in a jar and watch them grow. No feeding, cleaning or death involved! Only we had to cover the top with a rubber band and a coffee filter so the cats wouldn’t drink the water. :-S
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Ah, well, yes you do have to feed them ‘yo. I dropped a few bread crumbs after you went to bed, sorry. The little creatures started acting like piranhas over the crumbs. It is always delightful to see creatures enjoy themselves from something one gives them. I know the little guys will have a ton of fun watching them, and feeding them.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We spent last week getting ready to start school today. I planned out the subjects the Teenagers would be learning on a marker board while they assembled the needed folders, notebooks, and textbooks. Then we mapped out each subject and wrote out a course outline to help us determine how to pace the school year. I decided to imitate the same style we had last year where they do subjects A, B, and C at our house and subjects D, E, and F during the days at their mother’s house. Since she is too busy to help them with their work they can bring the finished assignments back here with them for me to grade. I can already smell trouble brewing though. Last year they started to slack off at mom’s house and come back here with little to no work done on those subjects. I fear they’re going to give that another try this year. I’ll just have to be very frank with them and warn them ahead of time not to try it. It didn’t fly then, and it won’t fly now.
This will be Preschooler 4.11’s first official year of school On his 5th birthday coming up I’ll have to upgrade him to Kindergartener 5.0! Even though we’ve been doing preschool and kindergarten workbooks since he turned four, he is still excited about having ‘school’ like his big brothers. The only thing I’ll change is to switch out his Pre-K workbooks for K and start teaching him to play the piano and read music. He has Marcus’ gift for music so we want to give him the tools to unlock his potential as soon as possible. As always, the biggest challenge will be to keep order and a loose daily schedule running smoothly. And most importantly, keep the TV turned off! It’s nice to have that ‘electronic babysitter’ for Toddler 1.0 at times, but the trick is to keep it to a maximum of thirty minutes per day – if I have to turn it on at all!
Liam Marcus’ Voice –It’s special. Once in a lifetime event. Okay, hey, maybe he can do some ka-ra-TE too. Just read an invite to “Meet ups” karate event. It seem inexpensive too. $40 per month for 4 lessons. One can even pay as one goes – kewl, heh?
I’d rather he start playing hockey, but hey, we will have to resort to roller hockey for a while instead. Musical talent?? Ah, shucks! I don’t have talent at all. It’s been hard work my lady, hard work, and even then, the work one has to continue to put in is even harder.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - We recently got back on the organic produce co-op bandwagon after a nine month hiatus. Meaning we haven’t been getting weekly bags of produce from a local farm or otherwise. Why? We let our rabbit farm CSA membership expire after the year was up because our two freezers were LOADED with food and we couldn’t keep up with the weekly bags of produce. Why did we stop getting anything for a whole nine months? Because that’s how long it took us to EAT all of it! I’m not freakin’ kidding. I thought it would take our family of six a few months at the most to empty the freezers, but no. And no, we didn’t get food from anywhere else except for the occasional foray to the organic grocery store for a good deal on one or two things like broccoli or sweet potatoes.
ANYWAY, I digress. This bi-weekly pickup of produce contained collard greens and potatoes among other things so I thought I would post our favorite recipe with these two ingredients. Both teenagers would be heartbroken if I ever stopped making this recipe. As a matter of fact, I always triple this recipe and use my four quart dutch oven just so we can enjoy the leftovers the next day. Kiss your box of Betty Crocker (aka Betty Crapper) potatoes goodbye forever because you’ll never want to go back.
Potato and Greens Gratin
3 medium unpeeled potatoes, cut into 1/8 inch slices (use the 4mm blade of a food processor)
2 handfuls of a leafy green like kale, etc., cut into shreds
2 tbsp. salt or more if desired
1 tbsp pepper
¼ cup butter (1/2 of a stick)
3 tbsp. fresh sage, or 1 tbsp. dried
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 1/3 cups milk
3 eggs (from pastured hens)
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded or crumbled
1/3 cup sprouted flour (Click Here to learn how to sprout your own)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until ALMOST tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the greens to the water and boil until tender. Drain and discard the water, Click Here to learn why you should discard the water. Set greens aside. Melt the butter in your pot, add the sage and garlic, then cook a few minutes until fragrant. Put the potatoes and greens back in the pot. Whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, and cheese then pour the mixture into the pot over the potato mixture. Stir gently until combined. Put the lid on your pot, and pop it into the oven for 50 minutes or more. It is done when the center is firm and will no longer jiggle. As always, all of the above ingredients should be organic for best taste and optimum health.