Our library basket runneth over…..

i guess i would like to work at a library for a while, since its sometimes quiet and i love to read, so...yea...

Every week my kids and I head out for an adventure at our local library.  I don’t think that there is any other time that we feel so rich, so blessed, than when we stroll down each aisle, perusing through all the books, selecting whatever strikes our fancy.  Then to top it off, we get to take our bountiful basket of books HOME.  Ahhh.  It really is a privilege and a luxury to have this opportunity.

So, that being said, I thought I would share some of the books found on our adventures.  My kids range from 16 years to 10 mos.  However, this week the highlights are for the younger crowd.  Each time I go, I try to choose books that fall into some of the following categories:

  • Math
  • Music/Art
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • Homesteading/Keeping a home
  • Social Studies/Geography
  • History
  • Food
  • Bedtime books (for the younger two)


Sir Cumferance – (math adventures)

Give Me Half

Millions to Measure

The boy who loved Math


Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

Who stole the Mona Lisa?

Science – this widely varies week to week, unless we are working on something in particular. This time the focus is mostly rocks and minerals.

Various rocks and minerals books along with this one:

Roadside Geology of Washington – the kids are making their own map on the best place to rock hound in Washington.

Magic School Bus – The Climate Challenge

Homesteading – We are slowly learning one area at a time, this week is beekeeping.

Keeping Bees

Language Arts – again various areas of language arts

This week we are having fun with Haikus (Japanese form of poetry).  So we chose to get:  Dogku

The boy who loved words

Around the house the fox chased the mouse – a book about prepositions.  It is a great series.

Show me a story

History –

A is for America

T is for Titanic

You wouldn’t want to be a Polar Explorer!

Food – 

Hungry Planet

A Teens guide to creative and delightful dinners

Social Studies/Geography

Everybody eats rice

Lastly, some picks for Bedtime Stories –

Knuffle Bunny

Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!

The Berenstein Bears say Please and Thank You!

We have enjoyed these books so far and look forward to what we will find next time.  We may or may not get through all of our books in one week, so many times they carry over until the next time we go.  Thankful for the 3 week checkout time!  Especially when our family can max out the checkout limit – at 100 books!  We love our books.

We Love Books Banner

The Hummingbird


Sometimes I feel like this hummingbird, fluttering and buzzing about.  As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, business owner and homeschooler, my days are sometimes just absolutely crazy.  There are times that I make it worse by not prioritizing or re-evaluating my day, letting some things go.

There are days when I can get a little overly ambitious to get done what “needs to get done”.  I find myself flapping out of control and speeding around just trying to do “all that needs to be done”.   Some days I am happy just to get the kids fed, the house clean and maintain my referee duties.  You know?  Other days I have more energy to plow through the LIST, and other days I have a keen sense of clarity on what is absolutely the bare bones that my children experience or learn  that day which is the Love of God.  Those bare bone days are the days I am tired of lists.  Striving to finish the never-ending list.

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Through it all, I cling to my reassurance that He loves me and is proud of me REGARDLESS of what kind of day I am having.  That He wants me to remember what He says is important, and He just wants me to land on Him periodically through the day and drink of His sweet nectar, His Presence and His Word.  Just for a moment He wants us to be still and know.  Also, for us to remember to not grow weary of the very things we are fluttering about.  Boy do I flutter.

After fluttering about with no end,  I start buzzing…….at the children….and the hubs.  I tend to get wrapped up in serving that I don’t care for myself enough and then get a little, you know……grumpy.  Then the “Pity Train” makes a stop at my house to pick me up.  (choo, choo!)  Ugh.  If I took care of myself, through rest, food, more prayer, scripture, etc., I might be filled up enough to endure.  Certainly, I will fail without it.  I will grow weary and faint, for I am not fit for the race.


I found a little blurb about hummingbirds that I found interesting:

“Hummingbirds have the highest energy expenditure of any warm-blooded animal, with a heart rate of up to 500 beat-per-minute, blindingly fast wing beats and sustained hovering. So this bird is nearly always on the edge of starvation, needing to slurp up more than its body weight in nectar each day.”  -LiveScience

Can you imagine??  Nearly always on the edge of starvation…..slurping it’s body weight each day?

 What if we are always on the edge of starvation for God?  What if we need massive amounts of His Loving nectar to survive?

I believe we all know the answer to that question.


Here is a link on the hummingbird, specifically about how God, the Creator, made them.  It’s fascinating information, especially when paralleled to our need of nourishment from God.


Thanks for stopping by!  May you be richly blessed.  Until next time.  🙂

Fun with Parsha Vayechi

I will be slowly getting back into blogging after an extended break.  Our family had a few sudden changes and a few not so sudden.  My husband ended his 6 year employment at a beautiful retreat center (lodging included), so that brought on a move AND starting our own family business.  WOW.  Oh, and we had a sweet baby boy, named Oliver.  All of that happened within 2 months.  Yes, it was a bit painful, but we serve a Mighty and Capable God and He got us through every bit of it!  Now that I am starting to breathe a little, I thought I would post a little something to ease back into the blogosphere.

Today, I am going to share a short and sweet post on a fun activity that the kids and I did this week, not only as a bible lesson but a baking lesson, too.  We have been studying Genesis 49 this week, for Torah Portion Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26), and we decided to focus on the part of scripture where Jacob was preparing to die and it was time to bless his 12 sons.  He blessed them,  each with their own strengths and weaknesses.


So the kids and I decided to explore this scripture portion through FOOD.  My most favorite way, really.  This was the result:


12 delicious and creatively decorated cupcakes.  One for each of the Tribes of Israel!

This was so super fun.

A description of each from top to bottom, left to right.

Top row-Far left: Naphtali

Genesis 49:21“Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.”

For his goodly words, we made a smooth chocolate cupcake, with smooth peanut butter buttercream.

 Top row – middle – Dan

Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

For Dan, we made a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream, with a Yellow Serpent out of gelatin-free fondant.

Top row – far right – Issachar

Genesis 49:14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

 For Issachar, we didn’t do much.  We kept it simple.  Kind of lazy, eh?  Well, that seems to be right up Issachar’s alley, right?

2nd row – far left – Gad

Genesis 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

For Gad, we made a chocolate cupcake, with buttercream, and a “camouflage” gelatin-free fondant top. He was a great soldier, thus the camouflage.

2nd row – middle – Joseph

Genesis 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

We made a vanilla cupcake with MANISCHEWITZ!  For the top, we have vanilla buttercream and a gelatin-free fondant bunch of grapes.

2nd row – far right – Reuben

Genesis 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

4Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

We made a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream, putting a simple layer of blue m&ms for water.  We somehow did not have any blue food coloring……I had so many different ideas for water.  Oh well, gotta roll with it!

3rd row – far left – Simeon

Genesis 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

6O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

7Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

 For Simeon, we just made a mini-cupcake, to reflect the size of his tribe.

3rd row – middle – Zebulon

Genesis 49:13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.

 For Zebulon, we simply made a vanilla cupcake, with vanilla buttercream (we were supposed to have a salted caramel center, didn’t happen), and topped it with a salted caramel shape of a ship.

 3rd row – far right – Judah

Genesis 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.

9Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

10The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shallthe gathering of the people be.

11Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

12His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

For Juda, we made a chocolate cupcake with red wine, with vanilla buttercream, topped with a Lion made our of gelatin-free fondant.

Bottom row – far left – Asher

Genesis 49:20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

 For Asher, my daughter wanted to make something she thought would be a kings delight.  She picked veggies…………while I LOVE that she did that, I think I need to read to her some accounts of King Henry VIII.  What do you think?

Bottom row – middle – Levi

Genesis 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

6O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

7Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

Well, it is kind of sad, neither Simeon or Levi were blessed.  So, since the Levites descended from Levi, we covered this vanilla cupcake with a gelatin-free fondant plate with bright priestly jewels.

Bottom row – far right – Benjamin

Genesis 49:27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

 For Benjamin, my son Benjamin felt it was imperative the cupcake reflect blood…..you know, because prey was devoured.  Ha!  Boys.  So we made a red cupcake, decorated with red frosting and a picture of a wolf.  There would be NO hand piping or fondant pieces of a wolf.  NONE.  I need to work on my artistic skills……really.  🙂


Well, that is it for now.  Blessings to you and your family!







Torah Portion – Va’era

We are now into Torah Portion Va’era!  Here are the scriptures for this week:

The Ten Plagues

Another wonderful addition to their series on teaching the Torah portion to their children each week.  Thank you Mark and Teresa Sommers!

Photo: Torah Portion Va'era


Aharon put out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs onto the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said “Intercede with Adonai to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let the people go and sacrifice to Adonai” Exodus 8:2-4 (8:6-8 in some english translations)


We made a frog by carving a honeydew melon and mini cucumbers for the legs. The eyes were a couple of jawbreakers and cut up cucumbers. The tongue was a sour candy strip. We also made a few more frogs using kiwi instead of honeydew.


We talked with the kids about the power of Adonai. Who will answer our plea for help when we need it? Pharaohs’ magicians had the ability to imitate Gods power; bringing frogs from the waters the same way Aharon did. But they could not remove the frogs to get relief from what was going on. They could not save themselves.The frogs were relentless and everywhere. We can get ourselves into situations that are very uncomfortable and difficult to handle. Things will have gone beyond our control and we need His Mighty hand to save us. It is so comforting to know that Adonai has no equal, and there is no one like Him, and that he does pay attention to our cries.

LOL – 12/24-1/4 – Wow!

Hello there!  Looks like I had a lot of catching up to do!

For the last part of December, there was not a lot of formal homeschooling going on.  From 12/24 to the end of the year, we were pretty busy.  We had a birthday, a birthday party and a New Years party to plan for, so each day pretty much consisted of this:

  • Reading their current choice of book
  • Bible lesson, video and copywork that went this it
  • Playing Ticket to Ride (their new game)
  • Helping in the planning and cooking for the birthday, and both parties
  • Reading and perusing through books from our “Home Library”.
  • A game of Sci-ology or Apples to Apples

That brings us to January!

1/1 – 1/2 – Dad was off, so we were too!

Thursday 1/3 –

  • The kids finished their “ABC’s of the Solar System” that they have been working on.  See here for a link to that.
  • Dailygrammar.com – each spent 20 minutes doing level appropriate lessons
  • Once again, Ticket to Ride
  • Read from “What the Bible says about Healthy Living”
  • Draw Write Now – each of them do this.  You can adjust the level of work depending on skill and age.  For instance, my oldest usually does additional research for his chosen picture he has sketched.  The younger will draw the picture according to the instructions, then write anywhere from 7-10 sentences about their topic.
  • They each wrote a letter to a person of their choice.
  • Map basics
  • 2 lessons in their Math workbooks
  • UNO math game – 3 different matches
  • Beakers Science video on Youtube

Friday January 4

  • Read independently
  • Hebrew sight words
  • Review of Hebrew lesson
  • Copywork of the current Torah portion
  • Created a visual aid for Math, they each made one according to what they are struggling with
  • Reviewed areas of struggle some more
  • Game of Grocery store math
  • Vocab rock-n-roll
  • Reviewed a few Math poems that I found on Pinterest
  • “Highlights of 2012” assignment

Great Keepsake for the year 2012~

That about wraps it up for now.  I am looking forward to getting back to a better schedule this next week.

Until then…….Have a wonderful week!

Parsha Recipes – Shemot

Again, a little behind with this weeks posts, so here goes with Parsha Shemot!

This Torah portion records the change of events for the Jewish people.  It has been several hundred years between this portion and the last portion.  Since than, a new Pharaoh is in town and he no longer sees the Jews as an asset, but as a bother and a threat.  He devises a plan to destroy the Jewish people.  He assigns the grueling task of building the pyramids for Pharaoh, but it seems to backfire on him.  It doesn’t seem to break the Jewish people, it makes them stronger.

So, he devises another plan, to kill off all of the newborn males that were born to Hebrew women.  He commands two Hebrew midwives to seek and kill each new baby boy who is born in their care:

15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

Although, this also backfires, as well:

18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?  19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.

That brings us to a very well know account in the Bible.  The account of Moses!  During this time of danger for newborns, a mother was hiding her newborn baby boy.  She hid him for 3 months, for he was mild and quiet.  She knew that it wasn’t long before she would be caught, so she came up with a plan to save him, to provide him more for his life.  In a handmade woven basket, this mother settles her baby in the basket, and sends him down river.  She also sends her older daughter along to watch the basket and to report where it ends up.

Where the basket ends up is in the hands of the Pharaoh’s daughter.  She was bathing in the Nile, and saw the basket.  Just then, Moses’ sister appeared and offered to fetch a nurse to care for the baby.  That nurse was in fact Moses very own mother.  What joy!  She was able to nurse the baby until it was time to wean, then he was onto the palace to begin his life as the Pharaoh’s daughters son.

Just a fun cartoon I saw:


Ok, onto a recipe!

Baby Moshe in a basket

Moshe B’Tayva Cookies

Salmon Cigars in a cucumber “basket”

Later on in the Portion:

11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.  12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

Moses then fled Egypt from those who sought his life for the death of the Egyptian.  He came to the land of Midian where he dwelled.  After some time being there, he took a bride, who bore him a son, and he became the caretaker of his father-in-law flock.  As he was out in the mountains with his flock:

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.  And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”

This is where Moses received the revelation from God.

“Burning” bushes

There is so much more to be devoured in this portion.  God’s Word is so rich!

That is it for now, I will be posting soon with Parsha Va’era! Until then, take a bite out of the Torah Portion and enjoy!