Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Home Schooling Husband-Sharing the Load


   Up until 5 days ago I didn't have a homeschooling husband. I had a husband who supported homeschooling. I have always dreamed of my husband sharing some of the duties schooling our children, but really never saw that actually happening... That is until I had a small voice speak to me one evening while lost in thought about how I was doing teaching my daughter math... Not my strongest subject by any means. Lets just say I know how to use a calculator well. ;) However, my husband is a living calculator.... Able to give answers to equations before you give him all the variables. I truly admire his mathematical abilities. :)

     Now... giving that I am not fluent in the mathematics and he is gave me the perfect opportunity to ask him if he would share the joys of homeschooling our children and teach them the math concepts they will need in life. His reaction surprised me... He was thrilled! He was happy that I asked him. The next day he told our homeschooler he would be teaching her math. She was very happy as she loves her daddy and she also loves math... Win-win for her! Any way, he has been busy looking at all sorts of curricula and I think he has picked Singapore.

      I have found this to be very humbling... I cant teach every, but God has given me the perfect help mate in everything, including schooling our children. Too many homeschooling mamas are at their limit and could use some help in just one subject or two. Dad's volunteer to help out! If your schooler has to wait until dad gets home from work... That is fine... Homeschool... remember? There is no M-F, 8AM-3PM... School happens all day, every day.

     So, homeschooling moms and dads... remember you are each others perfect helper... given to each other by God... And if you've been called to homeschool then God will see you and your helper through every tiny bit of it.

Have a homeschooling tip or question? Let us know!

Have a blessed day

Monday, October 7, 2013

Home Management on an Empty Tank

It has happened again... Another night has gone by and I have had enough sleep to question why I was even trying to sleep. Ever been there mamas? I am sure if 'Mama' has become your official title than you know what I am talking about. Well, I want to encourage you Mamas out there to give yourself permission to coast through the day on fumes and let some things go; to snuggle with your little ones a little longer today. Here are some tips that can help.

1. Get the crock pot out and dust if off. Use that person free cooking to your tired advantage. Pick recipes with just a few ingredients and little prep work.

2. Just do one small load of laundry and put it completely away... I'm telling you, it will make you feel accomplished!

3. As the day goes on sweep the kids' messes into one pile per room and only clean them up about an hour before dad gets home. We do this tired or not. It is a very efficient way to clean up the floor... When it is clean up time I get three baskets; one for laundry, one for toys, and one for trash. We go through each pile, collect the tings in each basket, and then put them away. It only takes me about 20 mins to clean up 2000spft. We do try to be a little neater when we may have guest over, but that is rare.

4. Limit school work to the easiest 2 or 3 subjects... Maybe the ones that are student lead workbooks and do not require any teacher prep.

5. If you have any phone calls to make do so after you've had a little nap or quiet time. That way you will be a little refreshed and hopefully able to communicate like someone who had more than a wink of sleep.

6. After the mess piles, phone calls, and laundry is put away go take a quick shower and get dressed. Yes I know you will spend most of the day in PJs... That is ok, really... Just try to be "dressed" when hubby gets home.

Mamas I hope you can see that despite being absolutely exhausted you were able to get a full days worth of stuff done on very little effort. Your home will be tidy and dinner will be done.

Commit yourself to going to bed a little bit earlier tonight. Well, maybe after you watch Star Trek with your hubby. ;)

Praying for rest today weary mamas.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Elderberry Illness prevention and Recipe

     An important part of home management is working to keep germs from spreading and illnesses down to a minimum. I'm not talking about general cleanliness, but instead being very intentional about good nutrition and supplements. 

     Today I want to talk to you about elderberry. It has been used for ages to treat colds, flu and other like illnesses. It is high is vitamins A, B, and C and other immune busting goodies like antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, and phosphorus. 

     Made into a syrup and blended with honey, ginger, clove, and cinnamon you have one powerful illness fighting supplement! Honey and cinnamon are known for their antibacterial properties while clove and ginger for their anti-inflammatory properties making them great partners in this syrup. This syrup taste delicious and I have had no problems getting my kids to take it. 

      It is very easy to purchase elderberries from Amazon, vitacost, and other online bulk herb stores like, Mountain Rose Herbs. It is just as easy to make elderberry syrup yourself and I am going to tell you how! 

Things you will need:
2/3 cup elderberries
3.5 cups of water
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cloves; whole or powder
1 Tbsp ginger ( I tried 2 T with my last batch and it was too spicy for my kids); fresh or powder
1 cup raw honey

a medium sauce pan with lid
a fine strainer
a jar with lid to store syrup in

The steps:

1. Mix the berries, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and water in the pot. DO NOT ADD THE HONEY. That comes later.

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until the liquid have reduced by half. 

3. Strain the liquid and discard the elderberries. 

4. Allow to syrup to cool to about room temp. It cannot be hot when doing the next step.

5. Add the honey to the cooled syrup... Too hot and all the goodies in the honey will be destroyed. 

6. Put your syrup into your storage container and place in the fridge. Keeps about 2 months.

Dosing instructions:

Adults take 1 Tbsp daily
Children take 1 tsp daily
Since this syrup is made with raw honey it is NOT for infants under the age of 1. 
If cold or flu does happen take the full dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms disappear. 

After trying it out myself last year and seeing how well it worked I didn't want to hog all the wonders it has to offer. I hope you benefit from it as well. :)

Prayers of health and wellness this cold and flu season