Monday, September 5, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

So these are the home school rooms I've been dreaming about. Who are these people!?!

I seriously have such an appreciation for teachers after spending the summer preparing for this new school year. I've been reading and reading, studying and reading, laminating, printing, copying, researching, cutting, planning, ordering, thinking, reading, thinking, making schedules, lists and more lists. Its actually a lot of fun for me, like  playing teacher but for real. Then on top of all this there's the usual stuff like cleaning out dressers and getting new school clothes and backpacks and shoes... then the haircuts, then cleaning out cupboards and the school room and taking school pictures. Its reminding me of all the work of getting Christmas ready, only maybe even worse.

We had a Back to School Family Barbeque on Saturday. 
*Sidenote* We got meat from a farm outside of Lethbridge that offers grass finished meat without the yucky stuff like hormones, antibiotics etc. Its called
 I totally recommend it. Its just off the highway to Lethbridge if you are local, so its handy. They are an awesome family, the farm is clean and organized and the meat is affordable and DELISH. I am not a meat eating kind of girl but if its local and free range and tastes this good even I eat it.

So our menu was PV Beef burgers, corn on the cob from the market, homemade hamburger buns, and Raw chocolate tarts for dessert. Here's the recipe, they only take 10 minutes and everyone loved them:

Chocolate Cashew Tarts

serves 2

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup water for blending 
2 tablespoons agave
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder

In a food processor fitted with the "S" blade, process the almonds and raisins until the mix starts to clump together. This takes a few minutes.

Press this crust mixture into the bottom and sides of two small tart pans, or use two cupcake pans lined with plastic wrap.

In a bullet type blender, puree the remaining ingredients until very smooth. This will take several minutes. Divide between the two crusts and fill to the top. Top with a small bit of chopped almonds, and pop into the fridge for an hour to firm before serving.

Tomorrow will be our first official day of school so I wanted to get a picture of our version of a school room, before it's never tidy again...

My mom gave me these pocket organizers things and they are great. I made laminated cards to put in the pockets. The top row is all the constants that the kids need to have done each morning before we start classes (dressed, bed made, eat, teeth, chores, scriptures). The second row is the fun activity planned for the afternoon if we get our work done (which happens to be making SLIME for tomorrow- hence the borax on the window sill. See recipe below.) Then each child has a row of what they need to accomplish before they are free for the day. The supplies they need for their assignments are in their work boxes, along with cute notes and treats from mom :0)

These are their individual workboxes from IKEA which I love. 
They are sturdy and a great size and only $7 each.

We spent the day in Waterton today and it was beautiful. Great weather, watermelon and the kids were in that magical place when they could play on the rocks by the water for hours. I think it had something to do with the frog eggs and snails they found. Afterwards we came home for 
We had a special night-before-school lesson planned. We told them what our Theme for the year was going to be and then I wrote it out and put it  up over the chalkboard. 
Its from St Luke 2:52 and it reads:

  "And Jesus aincreased in bwisdom and stature, and in cfavour with God and man."

We talked about how the scriptures tell us lots about Christ's birth and His ministry but we don't know much about His childhood. But, we do know from this scripture that he was improving mentally (wisdom), physically (stature), spiritually (favor with God), and socially (favor with man).
We taught the kids what goals are and why it's important to set goals so that we can find balance in our lives and always be improving.

Afterwards, Timmy gave the kids and I a blessing for the new school year and that was really neat to do as a family. The kids thought it was so funny that I was getting a blessing too so Timmy explained that I'm the teacher, so of course I need a blessing too. Then I cried briefly at the thought of teaching all my little ducklings and feeling so happy that I am able to spend the day with them. Then I cried some more because I'm pregnant and I get tired just thinking about teaching them all each day and then I got really nervous.

Homemade Slime aka GAK

1 teaspoon borax powder
1 1/2 C water, divided
4 oz (1/2 C)  Elmer’s glue, clear or white
food coloring
Add borax powder to 1 cup of water and stir to dissolve.  Set aside.  Pour glue into a medium mixing bowl and add 1/2 C water. Add a few drops of food coloring until desired color is reached and then stir to mix glue solution until smooth.  Pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture and watch the solids start to form.  Stir for a few moments and then use your hands to gather the mass.  The mixture will be very soft and wet.  Keep kneading until it firms up and feels dry.  Discard excess liquid in bowl. The more you knead and play with the slime the firmer it will become.  Store in a ziplock bag or air tight container and the slime will keep indefinitely.

with clear glue

with white glue


Elizabeth said...

And now I'm crying b/c it's all so beautiful. My grandchildren are living a charmed life...they are so lucky to have dedicated, intelligent parents, who will work so hard for them - but they totally deserve it! Let me know how I can help - I would love to.

Elizabeth said...

BTW your school room is every bit as fabulous as these in the photos...just so you know:)

Amy said...

Seriously to are so amazing! Reading this makes me want tondo this for my kids. You truly are an example of a great mom.

Lew said...

Ok, just so you know, we are all thinking, "Who is this woman???" about you!!! You are incredible...I really don't know how you do it! I'm so inspired by you and want to be a better, more involved, creative Mom. Best wishes with your school year. You will do amazing!

Tisha said...

wow! I'm exhausted just thinking about it...and I'm not even prego anymore! way to go! I always cry during my back to school blessing too- I think it's just the thought of the overwhelming responsibility of teaching and rearing children today- and how there are no "do-overs" you will be AMAZING!! lots of love and support your way! PS- the kids look happy and gorgeous as always!

Serena Cherry said...

You are such a wonderful teacher. aspire to be like you! Sometimes I wish we were neighbors in the hopes that some of your goodness will rub off on to me! :)

Timothy said...

You guys, don't be such crazy little rabbits all my life.

I like these photos of the kids a lot. Its a little sad to miss out on stuff Sarra gets to see all day. I just really like her a lot too. Just stop it.

Royall said...

I second what Aunt Elizabeth said. What lucky kids to have such a great teachers! And thank you for the meat recommendation- Matt and I moving to Lethbridge area in less than a month so I'll be able to use it!