Time Management: Ecclesiastes 3:1

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1.
What does this verse mean to you and your homeschool? To your family?

As I write this I think about how the Internet can suck up so much time in a day, jump online to find a recipe, then that mushrooms into checking email, then looking up a link that someone sent you, then a great deal on homeschool materials and on and on. It is my personal opinion that Satan is behind the Internet. We would call it sin if we sat and watch soap operas for 4 hours straight.

What a better way to harm our children than to take away their mothers: nursing mothers chat on-line while babies feed, checking emails while kids are wanting to talk after school, mothers staying up late to chat online or mindlessly surfing the net into the wee hours of the night, only to wake grouchy and tired from lack of sleep.

If you are feeling convicted by anything above, please pray about your Internet usage and find a buddy to be accountable to. Last year a dear friend of mine and I got on this subject, it was something that was on both of our hearts and a hard habit to break. But we came up with spending 30 minutes online in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. And guess what? We had a lot more time in our day for much more important things than surfing the web and as an added bonus, we noticed that we did not have "FUZZY BRAIN".  Ever get a fuzzy head after being online? Sort of a spaced out feeling? Think about how the kids look after playing video games for an hour, that glazed look, they can't hear mom calling for them, they are zoned out.

How on earth do we figure out how to spend out time? Pray, pray without ceasing (my husbands favorite line). Sunday is my planning day, I glance through the up coming weeks work, check over the calendar, get a quick list of things that I MUST DO and then add in the extras, Internet time is one of those extras and I actually use a timer imagine that!
LOL.....even better it's a chicken timer! We also use this same timer for video game time and all computer time. You really can get all your surfing done in a set amount of time. Now for you 30 min might not be enough, especially if you do work online. I fill out surveys, sell items and moderate groups, so I have to be really mindful of the time that I spend on each item. This year what has really helped me is that I have unsubscribed from several emails, now that I have a junior high homeschooler, I have gotten rid of several younger kid material emails, groups etc. That has helped me go through the emails faster. I also have unsubscribed to several business emails, if I have not bought anything in the last year from a company that sends me emails I click on the unsubscribe button. WOW does that cut down on the emails! I will tell you that sometimes you have to unsubscribe a few times before it takes effect, I do it one week and then if I am still getting emails the next week I do it again. I have also set my emails up to filter in to folders for homeschooing, frugal ideas, recipes and personal emails. This really saves time, since if I am looking for a recipe, I can just go to that folder.

I will make a brief comment on Facebook, I'm not a big fan of FB. Think about how you can use FB for Jesus Christ. How can you further the Gospel using FB? Well for one remove all the "Christian" friends that you have on there that complain about their lives, how poor they are, how bad their kids are, what terrible husbands that they have (you know the people I am talking about!) or the ones who talk about what color undies they have on and if they like it on the chair or on the table (a purse that is), just delete them all! Then invite those that don't know Christ as Saviour and be an encouragement to those people. Be up lifting and inviting, share what the Lord has done in your life. Be salt and light to the world through Facebook. Also "LIKE" positive things and before you post a status line think of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Or as I like to say "Post about these things!"

Now if you are a tired mom that feels the need to "zone out", please get on your knees and ask the Lord to help you overcome that need to be zoned out, that need is not healthy nor is it conducive to your family life, marriage or homeschool. Sometimes life online is a lot more fun that life in your own home. Get into the Word of God and let it permeate your soul!! Jesus Christ can be closer to you than anyone else. He is waiting for you to come to him. And He will understand and forgive you your sins of wasting time online and He is willing to forgive you all your other sins too, just for the asking, go to this website to find out more. http://needhim.com/

Spend your time wisely with your children as it is fleeting.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken & Dumplings

This was so good, I even ate some for breakfast! My guys gobbled it up too. Very easy used gluten free Bisquick for the dumplings and Almond milk for the dairy in the recipe. I just followed a recipe from Betty Crocker for chicken pot pie and changed those 2 ingredients.  I was in a hurry so I used Hormel gluten free canned chicken that I had on hand, I keep cans of that for when I have to run out the door and need to grab something to take with for a lunch or dinner out. They have a pop top lid so they work nicely. YUM! 

I had to try this before I took the photo and it was so good! I really like dumplings so I doubled the recipe. (Cracker Barrel ones were the best, but I was always so ill after eating them.......lol.)
This had a nice gravy to it and the dumplings were wonderful, they look white and doughy, but they are not, the gluten free Bisquick does not seem to brown like the regular kind does. This is a keeper for sure! Leftovers tasted good too.

Homeschool FREEBIE!!!! First 1,000 get it!

Love the free downloads from The Old School House store! Click on this link & head on over put E-Book: WannaBe™-When I Grow Up, I Want to be...10 Pack $35.00 in your cart, enter your info, enter in the coupon code FBWANNABE and I just clicked Paypal and it gave me a $0.00 balance and then I downloaded my freebies. These are great, I have paid for some of these in the past and we have enjoyed them.
Please post a comment here if you got this freebie.
Have a wonderful week!

A mom somewhere............

A mom somewhere in your neighborhood is preparing lessons to teach her children. In the minute it takes you to read this, moms all over the USA are using their "freedoms" and always investing their own money in their child's literacy, prosperity and future. She does this because she knows government run schools are not working anymore! Pray for a homeschool mom, love a homeschool mom, and appreciate a homeschool mom!

I love this sign!! Have a great weekend!!!

Gluten free Dairy free Cheesy Breadstix

These are so good! I found the Kinnikinnick Foods Gluten Free Personal Size Pizza Crusts at our local store. They were $7.99 for 8 servings, I thought a tad bit pricey, but they taste pretty good!

I brushed the crust with olive oil, sprinkled on garlic salt and Italian Seasoning then baked according the package directions. Then I sprinkled on some Daiya Vegan Mozzerella Cheese. Then I heated for about 15 seconds in the microwave to melt the cheese. I then served with gluten free/dairy free pizza sauce. YUMMO!!!

My dream homeschooling room.

I love to look at other home educators school rooms to get ideas for our school space.
This one is from Ikea and very COOL! You can see more pictures on Confessions of a homschooler blog at. http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2011/08/our-schoolroom-on-ikea.html#comment-32408

Look how neat and orderly this is? WOW!!
Share your space here. I will post a picture of my school area below, we use workboxes.
These are student bins as well as craft bins and storage for flashcards and more.

I could not leave out my favorite home education sign that hangs in the dining room from my friend and fellow homeshooling mom Sue. She gave to me for Christmas one year, as she knows I love snowmen and keep them up year round. I just love this! lol. And yes for all you non homeschoolers out there, we do take snowdays off if we want to. But sometimes the subject matter we are going over is just to exciting to stop for a snowday. But if the local kids are outside playing or come and knock on the door, we do head outside for some playtime.

Butchering day is here! It really was not too bad!

I really thought it was going to be horrible, I got all these horror stories from people and I was really worked up about it all. The chickens did not flop around, there was not tons of blood and it was not nasty. We prayed before we started, thanking God for the provision of the chickens, allowing us to raise them and then allowing us to enjoy eating them. The Lord really blessed and the kids actually enjoyed the process (I don't mean like YEAH we are doing this, but it was in no way traumatic to any of them, from ages 11 and under). I was the only one that cried and I was fine until our friends showed up and then I just bawled!

We only got 6 butchered and packaged in 5 hours (but we had 7 kids and 3 adults).

Plucking the chicken this was very easy, people told us it was hard to do and it stunk, nope, easy as pie. (chicken pot pie that is!)

We got chased inside by a severe thunderstorm with some vicious lightening! lol Otherwise we would have stayed outside working in the rain, but instead we had to drag in the dead chickens and all our tools lol.....yes it was rather interesting to say the least.

The kids learned a lot, our friend is an RN and he showed all the kids the body parts and explained how the chambers of the heart work and what and where the organs were. They loved learning about the tendons and how the feet move. They played with the feet and a pair of pliers.

Butchering chickens tomorrow

I think we are ready for butchering chickens tomorrow, it's still hard since we raised them from 1 day old baby chicks. But since DS has been really pecked a few good times by the roosters, he says he is ready....lol.  The final nail in the coffin (yes pun intended!) was the other day when DS came in and said "The roosters announced today that they are ready for butchering." I ask what he meant and he told me that the one pen of roosters started crowing today. Which in chicken speak that means they are of age to be consumed.
I am thinking of scrapbooking the process, but I have to think on that for a while.

Farm Fresh Eggs for sale

Yesterday was our first trip to the farmers market. We sold out of farm fresh eggs within minutes. It was our first crop of eggs with the proceeds going to winterize the coops. We are already gathering eggs for next week. A homeschooling mom came and bought 2 dozen, she has 4 hungry growing boys! She made a donation to our coop project too. Thank you Chris  :O)  We had not really thought far in advance when we got all the day old baby chicks that winter would someday come........lol.  Winter will soon be upon us, so much work is needed to be done.

We are thankful for some Michigan friends that have been saving egg cartons for us so we don't have to buy them. 
We got a free watermelon while at the farmers market, our son helped a man load up his produce after the sale and he gave him a watermelon! So we came home with $ and a free $4.00 watermelon. Not a bad day.

Homeschool gathering

Spent the day with great group of ladies from a homeschool group. Had an enjoyable time visiting with like minded ladies. Sounds like they have some fun things planned for the school year like field trips and maybe a sign language class. Send some tips our way regarding things that your homeschool group does through the school year.

Mine was a little bit unsocialized yesterday, he's been suffering headaches on and off since doing head traps in soccer, he was doing fine until he was on the merry go round and a kid kept throwing a basketball at him and it hit his head twice, then the headache started up all over again  :O( 
So he sat quietly by himself and when he felt a bit better he read a book.  Praying that these headaches go away.

Gluten Free disaster! lol

Well I have been trying some new recipes. I found one for a cranberry quick bread, I made the 1 1/2 lb loaves. Our son was watching it rise in the bread machine and he asked "Mom do you think that it's going to go over?" I looked, it still had a few inches before going over the top. I figured it was fine. A little bit later he comes back and says "Mom, the bread machine is smoking!!" Yes indeed the bread had gone over and spilled on the heating element. So I told him to start the oven and get a bread pan out. The cranberry bread got baked in the oven, it caved in, but it tasted good. I spent the rest of the afternoon scraping burnt bread off the inside of the machine.

I think I will make a 1 lb loaf next time.