School curriculum

HomeschoolFor us school tends to be an all year round thing….but with children at the ages of 10, 9, 7, 5, 4, 2 and 6 months….many can probably relate to the fact that having babies that close together and with all the other responsibilities that life as a wife and mother brings, it is no wonder that sometime in our lives we have to do school year round. We should not try to give ourselves a guilt trip that we are not like the mother who seems to be able to do it all but in reality we don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes.  We just continue to do our best. We have three children of school age.

With that thought in mind. I thought I would share with you some of the books we are using. We use different means for teaching the kids. We use books bought from Our Lady of Victory, some online places,  and dollar stores (they carry some really basic concept books like math and phonics). We also let our kids watch an occasional video that pertains to different things…like math, reading, letters, history, animals, etc. (We screen a lot of what the kids watch!) Plus, being home schooled our kids learn a lot of life skills as well. Trying to be tidy, keeping the house in order (lol, really hard with a big family!), chores with the few animals we have, maintenance of the yard, and cooking too! (Cooking is a great option for working on math skills.) The other plus about homeschooling in a large family is that your boys can learn skills that they need to know from their father and the girls skills from their mother, so that by doing so you are preparing them for that same role in life when they are young adults.

Blog capture of OLVS  Like I said before, we use Our Lady of Victory (OLVS). Maybe I am biased to that curriculum having done it myself, but I just find that some of their books and lesson plans work. We don’t always stick exactly to the lesson plans as I have adapted to what works for us. Also we don’t always use all of their books. At least for this year I have gotten a few different books elsewhere.

For religion we use “Living in God’s Love, Living for God’s Law, and Living for God,” based off of the Baltimore Catechism. They are good simple books. We also teach them a lot of other things about the faith outside of those textbooks things from sermons and other religious books.

For math the kids in grade 1 and 2 we use the “Lepanto Mathmematic” Press books. This year was the first year that our fourth grader started Saxon Math . Our first grader also used a simple math concept book we picked up at the dollar store.

For science we are using OLVS “Science and Living in God’s World” for grade 1,” Science and Living in God’s World” in grade 2, and are oldest “Science and Living in God’s World 4″.  Our first grader and our second grader also have books on sea life “Seaside and Way Side”  and animal life, “Animal Life Book 2“.

Spelling is OLVS “Traditional Catholic Spellers” for all three grades.

In Grammar our second grader is using “God gave Me the Gift of Language,” and the other two are using “Lepanto Graders 1+2 and 4.

Our oldest son is doing, “How Our Nation Began“.

Our second son has maps this year using: “Maps, Charts, and Graphs B+ C

As for phonics/reading our daughter who is grade 1 struggled a lot last year with the Angel Reader series. They worked great on our two boys, but not with her. We never really finished the book. She learned some basic reading…but just not good enough. So we went and purchased a different book on reading. We really want her to learn to read. She knows her sounds and what letters but just can’t seem to put the two together, so we got her “Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons,” by Siegfried Engelmann from Thriftbooks.com. Thrift books

 

Our second grader is using the Angel Reader series for grade 2. As for readers our oldest boys are using “Catholic Stories For Boys and Girls” by Neumann Press that we got from Tan Homeschool.  Tan Homeschool

Catholic National Readers for grade 2 and 4 from OLVS.

I got two extra books to for fun from Tan Home school  “An Alphabet of Saints” by Robert Hugh Benson and “Treasure Box Book 1” by MaryKnoll Sisters.

So that is a list of what we are using this year for grades 1, 2 and 4.  Hope this helps you other mothers out there in choosing your curriculum and letting you know what we think  about our books. May this give you in encouragement that you are not alone in the teaching and upbringing of your children!

Note: This is not a sponsored post nor am I being paid to advertise for Our Lady of Victory, Tan Home school and Thrift books.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
Taken from mygluten-freekitchen.com

Gluten-free Hot Cross Buns

Serves 10 rolls

Sweetly spiced dough, studded with currants or raisins. Traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday or Easter Sunday!

Ingredients

Buns

  • 1/4 cup currants or raisins
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 2 3/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (I used coconut milk) (110 F.)
  • 3/8 cup warm water (105-110 F.)
  • 2 Tbsp. dairy-free margarine, butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg (preferably room temp)
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Icing

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. powdered confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon milk, plus additional as needed

Directions

  1. Buns:
  2. In a small bowl, soak the currants in the orange juice. Place in microwave for 15-20 seconds or until warm. Let sit while you prepare rest of recipe.
  3. In the mixing bowl of your electric mixer, mix together flour, xantham gum, instant yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
  4. With mixer running on low speed, add in the warm water, warm milk (or other non-dairy milk), melted shortening/coconut oil, egg, cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Dump in the currants or raisins with all of the orange juice they were in.
  7. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
  8. Remove bowl from mixer and stir with a spatula to make sure everything on the bottom got mixed in well.
  9. Spray 8″ or 9″ round cake pan or pie plate with cooking spray. Using a large #20 cookie scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop dough into 10 mounds in the pan.
  10. Dip your fingertip into warm water and use to smooth out the tops of the rolls, continuing to wet fingers minimally as needed.
  11. Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm place 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  12. During the last few minutes that the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 400 F.
  13. Bake in 400 oven for 24-26 minutes.
  14.  For extra shine, brush rolls with additional 1/2-1 Tablespoon of melted shortening, coconut oil, or margarine.
  15. Once cool, remove from pan onto serving plate or platter.

Icing:

  1. Once the rolls are cool, whisk or mix together icing ingredients, adding additional milk as needed until you have a thick icing that you can pipe on. Scoop into a decorating bag that is fitted with a skinny circle tip. Pipe crossed lines onto each cooled bun.
  2. Store buns tightly covered at room temperature. These are best the first 2 days.

You can find the original recipe here : mygluten-freekitchen.com

MY OWN NOTES:

This recipe turned out very well. Even though my  buns were not as beautiful as the picture of above, they still turned out delicious. I am so glad I made them and they will be a beautiful addition to our family meal. For years I have wanted to make a gluten free  hot cross bun and now I have found one we like.

 

Baby Teething Cookies

  As Mothers and Grandmothers we all want what is best for our children! We try as far as our energy and funds allow to give our children wholesome delicious food. Organic isn’t cheap and we can’t always give our children the most perfect array of foods, but we can try as far as we are able. Nothing says that just because you didn’t give your child organic chips or some organic cracker that you are awful! It’s not that “Oh, how could you ever give that kind of snack to them? or Do you know what you are feeding them?” Don’t let that Mom guilt bother you!! We all try our best and that is what counts.

     Now, I am sure many of you have give your baby that unmistakably that little round hand sized cookie called the Gerber biscuit when teething. Our babies love them! Nothing says you are a bad parent if you gave one to your baby.  They are good but if you have the time or feel like you have nothing else to do, Lol! (Like we never have enough to do! 🙂 why not bake up your own baby teething cookies.

Baby cookies

BABY TEETHING COOKIES

1 cup of baby cereal (I used Earth’s Best Oatmeal Cereal)

1 cup of flour  (I used roughly 1 cup of rice flour with some cornstarch)

1 mashed banana

2 TBSP Coconut oil

2 TSP of cinnamon

4 TBSP of water (I had to use way more than this. You want it the consistency of dough to roll out)

Preheat oven to 425. Parchment paper lined sheet. Add cereal, flour, banana, oil, water and cinnamon to a bowl. Stir until combine. Roll out on parchment paper. Cut into shapes. (I used a round cookie cutter). Bake for 15 min. Cool. Store in freezer.

That’s it! Simple and Easy!

 

Feel like your getting a cold……

blowing-nose-in-tissue

 We all get sick with the common cold now and then. But we need to find ways to kick that bug out! A lot of rest, plenty of fluids, and even just some good old chicken soup might do the trick.

However,  there is a remedy that seemed to work when my husband and I felt like we were coming down with a cold.

By reading this website, you acknowledge that you are responsible for your own health decisions. Do not take anything from any website, including this one, and try it without proper research and medical supervision.

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

A COLD REMEDY

Echinacea – 2 capsules up to three times a day

Elderberry juice – our little 1 ounce bottle says one full squeeze of the dropper bulb to 2 oz of water or juice, two to four times per day.

Vitamin C- 1000 mg 5 times a day

One Garlic clove- chopped and swallowed

Oregano oil – 4 or 5 drops a day in water

Zinc – 100 mg a day

Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 TBSP in your water 3 times a day

 

A couple of other tips I found that worked over the years even on our children are rubbing Vicks vapor rub on the feet and covering with socks. We even tried an older trick by placing a piece of sliced raw onion on the bottoms of the feet and covering with a sock.

   Coconut oil and Eucalyptus ( a couple of drops) can help a sore throat. Rub on throat and chest. As always be very careful when using essential oils.

Peppermint tea and peppermint oil can also aid in battling your cold. Placing a few drop of peppermint oil on a wash cloth can help your stuffy nose or you could also use peppermint oil with a carrier oil on the bottom of your feet as well.

  Honey in warm water with lemon juice can relieve those coughs.

  Good quality sea salt 1/2 tsp in 4 ounces of warm salt water can be used as a gargle for a sore throat

    Steam inhalation for sinus congestion with eucalyptus or tea tree.

 

 

 

Roses

Do you have roses?  We have several rose bushes that we have to cover in the fall before the frost or they will freeze. We then uncover them in the spring. Anyhow here are a few tips on roses.

  •  Grow in full sun.
  •  Moderately moist soil.
  •   Fertilize monthly with a balanced garden fertilizer.
  •   Can use a rose spray  every two weeks in hot weather.

Instructions for cut roses:

  •  Fill your sink with water.
  •   Give each rose stem a fresh cut underwater.
  •   Put each rose immediately into a vase of water.

Did you know?

  •  Roses form an air pocket when cut out water.
  •  Air pockets prevent roses from sucking water up their stems.
  •  A healthy rose head will droop if it has an air pocket in it’s stem.roses-flower-nature-macro-63638.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Baskets….Containers…and More

We all need to be better organized. There are so many areas of our home that could use a facelift in the way of organization.  It is so easy to accumulate stuff but if we don’t purge and reorganize our homes, our homes become a mess of clutter. I know myself that I have a long way to go even in our home….and this is quite a large feat with so many little ones running around. I admit that I cannot keep my house as clean as I would like it to be! It seems that I just get one room cleaned or organize one small space in our home only to find that after a very short time (ahem, and I mean short time) that space is no longer clean like it was. Will keep on trying though won’t we! 😀

Now when it comes to organization I just love to use baskets. Baskets are easy to come by. You can get them pretty cheaply at garage sales, thrift stores, or even dollar stores. What I love about baskets is that they come in different sizes, colors, shapes, you name it.  Some baskets are made of wood, some of plastic, others out of colored paper, or if you are really frugal even a cardboard box that you fixed up!

What you put in those baskets is totally up to your imagination!!! Anything from smaller household items, baby things, cleaning supplies, spices, etc.

So what I thought I would do is share some of the ways that I organize some of our stuff in baskets……(some of them I guess you would really consider them a basket, just a container, but I thought I would share them anyway.)

IN THE KITCHEN:

spices

extracts and others

cleaning scrubber dish thingy

Here we store most of our spices, everything from salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, italian seasoning, etc. Not sure where I got the wicker basket but the black container was an old hair clipper box.  It came in handy for all the little bags of spices we get at our natural food store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we have a small red basket which I got at a garage sale, probably for fifty cents. In it we keep all of our food extracts, cornstarch, meringue powder, agave syrup and a couple of vitamins that we sometimes add into our smoothies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture is just a small wire basket that we keep all of our scrub brushes, scrapers, and sink plugs in at the kitchen sink. This was a one dollar purchase at a nearby thrift store.

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE BATHROOM:

cloths and toilet paper

 

In one of our bathrooms under the sink we have a black basket for toilet paper, got that one at the dollar store. (They have some really great storage items and for a good price!) The brown basket seemed the perfect size for our wash cloths and the basket in the back is for storing personal items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hair stuff in plastic drawers and plastic bucket

My daughters and myself have fairly long hair and so we needed a place to put our hair stuff. The three compartment drawer holds all the small ponytails, bows, hair clips that my daughters use and that came from Wal-Mart many, many years ago. (We don’t shop at Walmart anymore.) The plastic container (I think it was a garage sale, I have forgotten) holds all of my hair bands and ponytails, bobby pins, etc.

 

 

 

 

BABY ITEMS:

baby basket

 

This little white basket has been used for many things…First I used it as a diaper/wet wipe basket for our sixth child….then after she grew out of that, I used it for a snack basket. Now it is back to a diaper/wet wipe, extra clothes, diaper rash cream for our seventh baby. It is just the perfect size for diapers and stuff and is handy to carry around from room to room if needed. (My other kids are really good and going to get the basket when Mama asks for it!)  I think this one came from Wal-Mart as well.

 

 

baby food basket

Our seventh child is now eating solid food besides bottle feeding. I originally bought this basket for all the baby soaps and samples we originally received in the mail. It is now used to store bottles, baby jars of food, her spoons, etc. I got this one at Aldi’s during one of their special items of the week. We have another just like it on our change table and I store the baby monitors in it. I think these were four dollars, but my mama brain can’t remember the exact amount.

IN OUR GIRLS ROOM:

Shoes in used flower container

two year old basket

Our girls have a few pair of shoes and one day finding the basket that they were using to be too small, I moved their shoes into this container. This was from a garage sale. It has a lid and we have used it for toys, doll items, etc. It makes for a good chair too in their room with its lid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basket that once held shoes is now for our two-year old’s underwear, socks, and tights. We put it in a convenient place for her to be able to grab what she needs as she has only been potty trained for about four months. This basket came from Wal-Mart and is made of canvas. It has a little clear pocket in the front if you want to put a label.

corking material

 

The other canvas basket contains my daughter and my corking yarn and needles. We have made a few corking projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLEANING:

 

cleaners

This black basket came from a garage sale for a dollar. I think it once came from a salon shop. I store some cleaning products in it under our kitchen sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

socks

We all have socks and we all have those socks that seem to lose their pair when they go through the wash and dryer. I don’t know if any of you do this but I have a basket for missing socks. If its matching pair shows up later at least I have the other one saved. After many months if that missing sock never shows up that one sock goes to the trash. This is something that I remember my own mother doing. This basket probably came from a garage sale or thrift store.

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL:

 

kids school books

 

These baskets came from the dollar store about three-years ago. I bought it for the three kids that are in school. A different color for each kid. They keep their school books, notebooks and binder in these baskets. They have handles and at one time I had their names on labels in the front but they came off  or should I say someone ripped them off. They were just paper. I should have laminated them. 😦

 

 

 

 

AND THE LAST ONE:

essential oils

This is not really a basket but like I said before you can even use a cardboard box. You can cover it or like I did just use it the way it is. This little box was from some natural company and I like the way it looked so I just sticked a laminated label on it and put our little bottles of essential oils in it. It seemed the perfect size for the amount we have so far. I enjoy using essential oils for quite a few things and I will share you with another post on what I like to do with them.

So those are some of the containers or baskets we use around the house and as I sit here typing I begin to think about all the other containers I haven’t shared with you that we use around the house.

We have some great plastic containers to store some of our dry goods, like our gluten-free flours, noodles, raisins, sugars, oats, etc. We have containers for our vitamins, herbal supplements, medicines in our hall closet. We have some larger baskets that we store garbage bags, extension cords, and miscellaneous items for around the house. I could probably find more if I were to walk around the house, but I also know that I could maybe better organize things around the home, but like I said before it takes time.  We just have to do what we can!

WOULD LOVE TO HEAR HOW YOU ORGANIZE THINGS IN YOUR HOME? HOW DO YOU STORE YOUR STUFF?