Thursday, August 28, 2008

HomeSchool Agenda for 08-09

agenda photo

I have set our official date for school as September 15th. My daughter's birthday is September 2nd and so that gives us a whole week to enjoy the Labor Day holiday and her birthday and then another week for me to plan for school and recuperate.

This year we will be using:

Adventist Sonlight Curriculum-This curriculum uses the color coding of the Rainbow to cover all subjects








The Curriculum is Bible based and so we cover Bible everyday along with two other subjects. The lessons are made for the family and so everyone learns together.

Math U SEE-We use this as a supplement to our main curriculum. I like the math in our main curriculum because it teaches math from a Biblical perspective. I also love Math U See

Italics Handwriting- I absolutely love this handwriting program. I love the fact that the print and cursive are very closely related and follow the natural flow of the hand.

Charlotte Mason- I will be using Charlotte Mason's method's of habit training as found in Laying Down The Rails-A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook. We also use Charlotte Mason's Scripture Memory System

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Different World

Since I accepted the financial challenge and decided to teach crocheting and knitting classes, I have just been overwhelmed with the crochet/knit world. Who knew?

Growing up I never knew anyone who knitted or crocheted so I had no idea how huge it was. I have been watching you tube videos on how to make hats and other neat projects and I have found the most darling patterns on-line.

I have this urge to make several of them. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but every time I ignore my urge I wind up regretting it later, so this time I'm going to make them and figure out what to do with them later.

Check out this apple hat. Is that cute or what?? I'm definitely going to have to make this one.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Visit With the Charge Nurse at the NICU

Okay, so it's day 44 of the Financial Blessing Challenge and we are just 1 day shy of the half way mark.

On Saturday, I visited the charge nurse at the NICU unit to see what size hats they need most. She gave me the number of the Child Life Specialist and so I called her this morning to touch base. We talked about colors for the hats and other items they may need. I will pay her a visit sometime this week to see which size hats will work best for what she needs. That will help me to determine what pattern to use for my class. She mentioned that the nurses prefer pink or blue hats or any lively color and that most of the time the yellow hats get left in the drawer. I also read on-line somewhere that the yellow hats tend to make the sick babies look sicker.

I will be teaching a 4 hour crocheting/knitting class on the 1st Sunday of every month. I will alternate each month (crochet one month, knit the next) and teach basic skills including stitches and how to read a pattern. We will then make a hat. I am hoping that we will have enough time to complete one hat since they are small and only take about an hour or so to complete.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Knitting/Crochet Meet Up Group

Last night I met with the Knitting/Crochet Meet Up group. My reason for going was to connect with other knitters and crocheters in the area and to get some help making this:

Look like this hat.
Well wouldn't you know that I left it at home! I packed my bag all nice and neat the night before so I would be ready and not forget a thing. Well I have two bags with crochet stuff in them and I took the wrong one! So needless to say, I still have not figured out how to put this hat together. I got pretty close last night, but it still wasn't right. I'm beginning to wonder if I did the pattern right. I'm going to try the pattern again and see what I get.

Sew Crafty Friday

Here is a picture of a hat I made this week:

Here is a picture of it standing up:

The nice thing about this hat is that it only uses singles crochets. Very easy and yields a nice finished product.

Edited to add pattern link

For more projects and ideas, be sure to visit Shereen at Waiting For Him

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pictures of Hats

I started making this super cute hat.

The only problem is that when you follow the directions, you get this:

And then you are supposed to sew it up and get the final product. I was trying to fold it over to make it look like the picture, but this is the closest I got. I'll take it to my Meetup group meeting tonight and see if I can get some help!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Financial Blessing Challenge Update

This past Sabbath at church, the Pastor gave me an opportunity to address the congregation and explain what I am doing for my finanical challenge. I explained that I would be knitting and crocheting hats to donate to the Children's hospital located close by. I then asked for 10 people to join me in committing to one hat per week. That would be 52 hats a year for each person for a total of 520 hats in a year's time. Not too shabby, right? I told them that the average American watches over 20 hours of television a week and if they just worked on the hats while they were watching television, they could easily meet their goal.

I had 10 people come up to me BEFORE I even left church. Wow. I was not expecting that. Some of them already know how to crochet and/or knit and some of them have no clue. So I am going to hold classes once a month at the church to teach others how to knit and crochet. Now you would think that I am a pro for even agreeing to do this. I assure you I am not. But I am learning that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called! And He has called me to start this ministry and so I am believing that He will show me how to do it.

I joined a knit/crochet group on Meet UP and I am anxious to attend my first meeting this Thursday. I know that it is no coincidence that the topic for this week is knitting/crocheting for charity. I am a visual learner so I am hoping that someone there will be able to show me some of the answers to my questions.

Here are a couple of the hats that I have crocheted so far. Here is the pattern I used for these. One is the preemie and one is the newborn.

This is another hat that I started. You can find the pattern here. It is so cute! I've only gotten a little bit done
I am hoping to find lots more easy patterns for my students to choose from. Please let me know if you know of any.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sew Crafty Friday

I am working on a blanket for my 90 Financial Blessing Challenge. Here is what I have finished so far. I messed up big time somewhere on this one, but I'm going to finish it. It still looks nice and someone will be able to use it. :)

I had planned to be finished with it today. I may have sometime this afternoon to work on it.

To see more crafty projects or post what you have been working on, be sure to visit Shereen at Waiting for Him.
Edited to add photo: Sorry guys! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Deepest Fear

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness,that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,talented and fabulous? Actually who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinkingso that other peoplewon't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifestthe glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And when we let our own light shine,we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear,our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

This is one of my favorite poems of all times. When I read this poem, it reminds me that I have permission to be myself. The fact that I have to remind myself that I have permission to be myself sounds almost rediculous, doesn't it? But it's true for me and it's true. I'm learning that I am who God says I am and I don't ever have to settle for less than that. It's not an heir of arrogance. It's the honor and privelege of knowing that I am God's workmanship and He is the Master Designer.

My 30's have been the decade of learning myself: the good, the bad and the ugly. I am finally at a point where I can embrace it all and then shift my focus to the good. It is when we focus on the good that the bad and the ugly become dim.

Think of a camera. There is one focal point. Everything else in the background is fuzzy. I believe it's the same for our lives. What we focus on (whether it be good or bad) is what will be crystal clear in our minds. The rest will become fuzzy.

What are you focusing on? In Isaiah 26:3, God promises that He will keep those whose mind is stayed upon Him in perfect peace. I challenge you today to claim that promise and watch God transform your life. Then you can be yourself and give others permission to do the same.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Blog Look

My blog has a fabulous new look thanks to Darcy over at Graphically Designing. For those of you who may be new to my blog, I picked the name Mocha Moments because in college my friends and I would identify people by their skin tone and my tone was known as "Mocha". No, I don't drink coffee. In fact I don't even like it. :-) The moments part came from loving great moments of life and thinking of how a lot of those moments are often shared over a cup of coffee or tea. So there you have it. My blog history in a nutshell.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think of my new look and if you are in need of some redesigning, pay Darcy a visit!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This week on my menu plan I'm not going to divide it by day. The reason is that I like flexibility. I buy the ingredients for the meals I have in mind (and keep my pantry stocked with things I know we eat often) and then I decide during the week which day to have them. I feel "restrained" if I make a menu for the week and then stick to it. So here is my menu plan for the week, subject to change of course. :-)


Skillet potatoes, Scrambled Tofu, Breakfast Sausage (Boca)

French Toast, Fresh fruit,

Pancakes, Skillet Potatoes, Fresh fruit

Breakfast Burritos


Cutlets w/gravy, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Pigs in a Blanket, Mixed Vegetables, Salad

Creamy Stroganoff, Salad

Black Bean Soup w/Bow tie Pasta

Pizza, Basil and Tomato Pasta, Salad


Fresh fruit




Friday, August 8, 2008

AppleSauce Bread

When I lived in California, I tutored a student whose Mom was always making bread with her bread machine. I would chat with his Mom after our sessions and she would always offer me a piece of bread. She used a book called "The Bread Machine Cook Book" by Donna Rathmell German

I borrowed her book for a little while and made the Sally Lunn loaf. Talk about rich and delicious! I haven't tried that one since I cut eggs and dairy out of my diet. A

A short while after giving her book back, I visited my Aunt in Oakland who had the same book on her shelf! She said she never used it and so she let me have it. :-)

I used it some when I lived in the Atlanta area and hadn't used it all in the 6 years I've lived in Texas. I pulled it out yesterday and decided to try the AppleSauce Bread. The kids rate it 5 stars, so I thought I would share the recipe. This recipe is for a small loaf.

1 cup applesauce
2tbs margarine or butter
1tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon, optional
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast

My daughter tried hers with a little smart balance on top drizzled with honey. She said it was great!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our Homeschool Group

One reader left a comment asking what we do with our Homeschool group so I thought I would answer the question here in a post.

When I signed up for the homeschool group, it was mainly for field trips. My kids love field trips and they are such a great way to learn and retain information.

We now use our homeschool group for Fair and Bees such as spelling, geography, science, history and art, and P.E (bowling, basketball, soccer, gynmastics and kickball). I also found Jasmine's violin teacher through this group and so we use it for networking as well.

We have a library day once a month where the kids do a craft (usually something seasonal) of some sort or listen to someone that comes in. We've had authors and historians. We have a Thanksgiving dinner usually the week before Thanksgiving and everyone is encouraged to dress up as a historical figure. A lot of the children make their own costumes. It's really nice.

This year the group is adding a Family night once a month. They had a couple last year that included square dancing and a family pool party.

Also one of the things that I like about this group is the different committees they have. Each Mom is required to serve on at least one committee. We have one committee known as the Benevolence committee of which I am in charge for the upcoming school year. We keep what is known as a care calendar and any Mom who is pregant or going through surgery or whatever signs up to have meals delivered to her family. Our Treasurer recently buried her Mom and while her Mom was in the hospital, the group supplied meals for her family. I was totally amazed at how quickly they responded and how well it works.

I hope this gives you a good idea of how our group operates and why we use it. :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Starting on Blanket for Financial Challenge

Yesterday I went to Walmart and bought some yarn and crocheting needles to get started on my first project for the Financial Blessing Challenge. I used to have a whole collection of needles and have no idea what happened to them. Maybe they are in the garage somewhere (sigh). Of course that is another post for another day!

At any rate, I was going to take a picture of the blanket I'm working on, but my daughter, who seems to be a bit more excited about the crocheting than I am, has misplaced my book. No worries for now since rows 2-30 are the same thing. I'm on row 5 and here's what it looks like so far. I curved it around so it would all fit in the picture frame. Of course it will be straight when it's done.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gearing Up for the School Year

Last night I attended the first Mom's night out meeting for my local homeschool group. This meeting is mandatory for all Mom's and no participation is allowed until a meeting has been attended.

During this meeting we cover all the rules and regulations, fill out forms and have them signed by board members. This is a Christian Organization and so we must sign a statement of faith and agree to abide by the dress code which basically says we agree to not show the three B's; no bellies, no bottoms and no b**bs. :-)

Here is the Statement of Faith that all must sign or show in writing why they do not agree:

1. We believe that there is one living and true God; an infinite, intelligent Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence but eternally subsistent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. We believe in the fall of man; although originally created in the image of God and in fellowship with God, through the disobedience of Adam, man fell into a sinful and spiritually impotent state, totally unable to justify himself before God.

3. We believe that Jesus Christ is the express image of the invisible God, which is to say He is God; that He became man, yet without sin, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary of the Tribe of Judah; that He died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin; that He arose from the dead in the body in which He was crucified; that He ascended into heaven in the body glorified, where He is now, our interceding High Priest; and that He will return again personally, visibly, and gloriously.

4. We believe that salvation is wholly of God, by grace; that God in love gave His only Son to die on the cross for sin, thus procuring the redemption of those who come to Him; that this salvation is not merited in any way by man; that God commands men everywhere to repent of sin and believe in Christ; that those who do not repent and believe receive an eternal punishment in a literal hell; while those who do repent and believe receive an eternal salvation which is demonstrated by good works, and eternity in God's presence in a literal heaven.

5. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant work of God, and the only infallible guide for our daily lives, and of supreme and final authority in faith and life, and that we are born again by the living and abiding word of God.

6. We believe that children are gifts from God and that, as parents, we are fully responsible for their education, instilling Godly character, training our children by instruction and example to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and to love their neighbors as themselves.

Our group is growing by leaps and bounds, so much so that I went to sign the kids up for basketball and the list was already full. Every month (except for December) we play a different sport for P.E. We signed up for bowling, soccer and gymnastics. Hopefully they will be able to open a new section of basketball so we can sign up for that as well.

As we were getting ready to head out, my daughter decided she wanted to get some lemonade. She poured the lemonade and then decide to add some ice to it. While pouring the ice, some of the ice spilled out onto the floor. One of the little boys that was there (maybe around 9 or 10 years of age) with no prompting from anyone, immediately came over and helped to clean up the mess. I was so touched. People often talk about homeschoolers and their "socialization skills". I don't know about anyone else, but I have found homeschoolers to be more sociable (able to relate to a much wider class of people), polite and helpful then any public or private school children. And I'm not bashing schools or school children. I am a product of both public and private school and have met some mighty fine youngsters that attend both.

I am excited about what the new year will hold and I look forward to more touching moments like the one last night. :-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Financial Blessing Update-I've Decided What I'm going To Work On

Today is day 23 of the 90 day Financial Blessing Challenge. I have decided that I am going to crochet some baby clothes (probably mainly hats) and donate them to the children's hospital.

What's interesting is that this idea came to me some a while back and I just never got started on it. When my Pastor gave the challenge, the first thing that came to my mind was the Children's Hospital. I wasn't sure that this was what God was telling me to do and so I waited. I had another idea come to my mind of starting a community garden, but I don't believe it's related to this challenge. Who knows, maybe I'm supposed to do both? We'll see, but for right now I will be looking for some patterns for baby hats and booties and all kinds of cute stuff!!

If you happen to know of any patterns that work up relatively quickly, please share!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

30 Days to Connect with Jesus has added some new programs to its list, one of which is 30 Days to Connect with Jesus. I signed up to begin this program on August 1st. On yesterday, I received some questions for thought that I would like to share:

1. Do I honestly believe that God really loves me?

2. How do I give evidence in my life that I appreciate God’s love for me, and that I love Him in return?

3. Do I acknowledge God’s handiwork in nature, and do I let it tell me of His love for me?

4. What can I do to be more tuned to nature, listening to God’s voice in the natural world?

5. Do others see Jesus in my behavior toward them?

6. If the person closest to me shared their honest opinion of me, would they describe me as a loving, unselfish person?

7. Do I frequently think about what Jesus has done for me?

8. Do I realize how much my sins hurt Him, so that it breaks my heart?

9. Do I sense Him lovingly calling me to come to Him?

10. Do I feel my heart responding in love for Him?

Part of the e-mail says " Search your heart for your genuine beliefs. Go deep, and be brutally honest, and let your heart be broken in complete surrender to God. If you find that your answers don’t measure up to what is pleasing to God, ask Him to change your heart, so that you can be in harmony with Him. Each question can be turned into a prayer for God to make it a reality in your life."

I challenge you to do the same. May God richly bless you and may you be encouraged as you continue to live for Him.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kickin It Up A Notch-Scheduling

In keeping with my Kickin' It Up A Notch Theme, I have been working on my schedule. I created "pivot points" in my schedule and then worked in everything else. One thing that I have found is that I ABSOLUTELY love having dinner early. We have dinner at 1:00 and that works well for me because dinner is out of the way and I can have my kitchen clean before the afternoon is out. Plus in the fall when I begin my workday at 3, this gives me plenty of time to finish school, have the kids fed, and then send them off to do their personalized assignments (crafting, playing, etc.)

So our pivot points look at little like this: We have breakfast at 8 am. The children rise at 7 and have personal devotion and do all of their chores (wash face, brush teeth, make bed, put away pajamas, etc). Right now we are in a test run and once we get it down then there will be penalties (having to rise 10 minutes earlier for each chore not completed) for not being done with chores by breakfast and incentives (not sure what these will be yet) for completing them all.

After breakfast we have family worship (at the breakfast table). Then we go outside to water the garden, get some exercise, explore, etc. and then come back inside to start school. After school we take another break and go outside.

Our next pivot point is Dinner at 1pm. After dinner is cleanup time and quiet time. Then crafts (this is the time that we will work on sewing and other things). 6pm is Supper or late snack (fruit, bread, popcorn, soup in the winter time, sometimes leftovers from dinner if we are really hungry) :-)

7pm is bath time, and then 8pm is Evening Family Worship and bedtime immediately after.

What does your schedule look like? Is it time for you to Kick It Up a Notch?? :-)