Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shopping the Farmer's Markets

This morning we headed out bright and early to catch the farmers market. As we pulled up, we were all excited since a row of stalls is a rare site in a Texas city! It was a new experience for Esther also.

I first was drawn to the stall with Goat's cheese which was delicious, then some hand made soaps. After that we looked at the vegetables. It was so hard to choose since everything looked great. We settle for some peaches, pears, a big cantaloupe melon and some jalapenos.

Next, we headed out to the Ridgelea farmers market which is open all week. They have a wide variety there always, so I was drawn to ask some questions. Upon inquiring, I found that the grapes, strawberries and blueberries were not local but she told me what was. I also asked what of that was grown through sustainable methods but they were not sure.

Before checking out the preserves, we sat down for a bottle of Dublin Dr Pepper (if you haven't had it, you should! Its made just a few hours away from us with cane sugar, much tastier than the canned stuff!).

I was excited to find some raw honey at a not so inflated price and we also got some damson plum jam.

Overall it was a fun time! I have to admit though, I am looking forward to the time when I can spend some time on some sustainable pick your own farms or have my own patch! I cannot imagine the thrill of cooking my home grown produce. In the meantime, I am reading as much as I can to prepare!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Delicious - Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I just remembered this delicious recipe as I was trying to make this weeks meal plan... enjoy!

Curried Butternut Squash

An article of interest from this weeks issue of TIME.

Getting Real about the High Price of Cheap Foods by Bryan Walsh

I thought this was a really interesting article. Sometimes it is hard to spend that extra on better organic foods, but in the end, can we really afford not to?

Learning from Charlotte Mason

Several months ago, a dear friend gave me a copy to read of The Charlotte Mason Companion by by Karen Andreola. Charlotte was born in 1842 in Bangor, England and went on to revolutionize education in Great Britain. You can read her biography HERE.

I am falling in love with her idea's, most notably the concept of 'Living Books' and 'Narration' in the early years. She wrote, of books...

"For the children? They must grow up upon the best . . . There is never a time
when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well
told. Let Blake's 'Songs of Innocence' represent their standard in poetry
DeFoe and Stevenson, in prose; and we shall train a race of readers who will
demand literature--that is, the fit and beautiful expression of inspiring ideas
and pictures of life."

I love her thoughts in this quote:

"Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin,
and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another,
whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony;
but we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food."

As I read Charlotte's idea's, I find a passion and excitement to teach my children in my home. I find myself nodding as I read and narrating thoughts to my husband who agrees also.

I am currently looking for some good writing on classical education, so if you know of any please let me know!

This book is on the way, I am excited to receive it... I am sure I will be updating you when I read it!

Anyway... back to Charlotte Mason in our home. Karen Andreola suggests two books for using with very young children prior to the age of formal narration. "Aesop's Fables" and "Mother Goose". As soon as a read this, I admonished myself for not already having copies of either and the next day found them at Half Price Book's.

Esther already has a passion for books and will just sit with a pile and 'read' them, so she was enthusiastic to dig into some new material with me.

This morning we read "The Crab and its Mother"

"A CRAB said to her son, "Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward." The young Crab replied: "Quite true, dear Mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it." The Mother tried in vain, and submitted without remonstrance to the reproof of her child.

Example is more powerful than precept."

Its such a short story, but its perfect for Esther. She was able to re tell the story, then talked about crabs, shells, the ocean and then practiced walking around like crabs.

I also encouraged her to tell her Daddy about it when he got home and she immediately started walking like a crab with a big grin on her face.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are you sure you are ready to turn forward?

Growing evidence shows that rear facing beyond the minimum 1 year and 20 pounds is much safer for children. In fact, rear facing is recommended until 2 years and beyond.
This is a great video, please take the time to watch it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thai Iced Coffee

There is this fantastic Thai restaurant in Arlington called Sukho Thai. Josh and I went there on our first date, it has been a regular haunt since then. They have delicious thai iced coffee, which we are trying to reproduce at home.

We've tried several recipes from the web to no avail. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Outside my window... Are dream's of my own garden one day. A vegetable patch... a tree swing... a fort... a cloth's line... roses... working as the children run and play. I have ordered The Backyard Homestead. to educate myself!

I am thinking... about the future, the plans God has for us... our life feels like a an adventure story, we've barely made it past the prologue yet!

I am thankful for... this cozy rocking chair in the girls room, where I can relax after our voyage to the park in the hot sun, while they play contented.
From the kitchen... Last night I made cottage pie, a favorite in our home. Somehow last night, it happened to taste just perfect!

I am wearing... all black!?! I try to avoid alot of black. I was wearing a green shirt over a black tank, but I got too hot, hence... woman in black.

I am creating... not much, since my sewing machine and fabric is packed right now. Although... I am 'creating' a little sanctuary for me and the girls in their room.

I am going... to be mostly at home this week, working on unpacking. Also, enjoying a park right around the corner!

I am reading... Feeding your child for lifelong health. Learning about metabolic programming and understanding vitamins and minerals more! I am also reading some blogs, enjoying Elizabeth Foss's right now.

I am hoping... that my husband and I can have a date night this week.

I am hearing... drum rhythms! First worship team practice tomorrow. I am nervous.

Around the house... boxes, boxes and more boxes. A project a day! Tomorrow, I am working on re-shelving books and CDs.

One of my favorite things... Cold milk and chocolate. So nice after a long day!

I am praying... for Josh's uncle who is having some major medical issues right now.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Worship Team Practice, Food Ministry, Date :-D Fun family day, unpacking, hopefully seeing Ashley.