Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This article was published on the Campaign For Liberty website. I usually love everything Anthony Gregory writes!
An Emergency Indeed
By Anthony Gregory
The White House has declared Swine Flu a "national emergency." In the last year, at least 5,000 have died worldwide from H1N1, according to the WHO, making this an "epidemic." Contrast this with the 250,000 to 500,000 — 50 to 100 times as many — who died of the regular flu. Then consider that the great majority of swine flu diagnoses in the last year turned out not to be the flu at all.
The real national emergency is the threat to our liberty. When the president declares a "national emergency," he typically martials the heavy hand of the state in ways unseen when there is no "crisis." Today we have so many "crises" — terrorism, economic collapse, health care, global warming and now swine flu — that no area of our lives is safe from government meddling. This particular "emergency" could lead to despotism: Mandatory vaccinations, quarantines, government control of transportation and so forth.
Be on the lookout in the next couple days for a new piece by Dr. Adam Murdock on swine flu hysteria in our featured articles section.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This week I made a batch of gingersnap cookies. I hadn't made these since last year during the holiday season. I knew I really liked them, but upon pulling these spicy sweet lovelies from the oven, I had an epiphany! This just might be my favorite cookie! I know, it still does not meet the full criteria of the all-time favorite dessert question, but at least I got an answer for the cookie department! Eating the first one, warm from the oven, confirmed my love for this snappy gem. Then I had to wonder, if I love these so much, why hadn't I made them since last December. Never really came up with a definite answer, but I believe I had categorized the gingersnap as a seasonal cookie.
The gingersnap surely pairs well with crisp fall leaves, frost on pumpkins, juicy turkeys, silvery sleighs, jingle bells and other holiday fare. But, please don't make the mistake that I did with limiting the gingersnap to only a few precious months of the year! Pull out this recipe spring, summer, fall and winter to give this little treat the respect it is due! You just might discover a cookie favorite of your own, or at least one of your favorites!
The way we generally handle cookies in our household is to make the dough and just make one sheet of cookies. We refrigerate the dough and continue to make one tray at a time over the next several days. What can I say! I like fresh cookies and can't really stand making tray after tray of cookies, trying to lay them out all over the counters to cool. It's just easier this way.
I feel like I must confess that on Wednesday, I ate 11 gingersnap cookies over the course of the day. E-L-E-V-E-N! And that does not include all the cookies I ate Monday, Tuesday or today! Maybe I have discovered the real reason why I only make these cookies a few times a year!
This recipe comes from Sugar Pie Farmhouse. Head on over to Aunt Ruthie's to feast your eyes on some amazing holiday decorating inspiration.
Gingersnapsfrom Sugar Pie Farmhouse
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A month ago, one of the gentlemen at church told her he would give her a quarter for every scripture she quoted to him. After earning a dollar a few Sundays ago, the guest pastor overheard her and handed her another dollar! She was able to use her hard earned money to buy tickets to get on the blow-up rides at the Cider Mill.
While Layla has been memorizing scripture, Julius has been observing. About two weeks ago, Julius tapped me on the leg and quoted the very first scripture Layla ever memorized! It was so adorable hearing God's Word in his cute mumbling two year old voice! Put a bunch of marbles in your mouth and say, "First Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character." That's how he sounded! Soooooo cute!
Layla has also been making progress with her phonics. We are using a vertical phonics program and she has been working on all the sounds of a, t, s, l, e, m, i, and n. She has been successfully sounding out shorter words composed of those letters. She is now working on the different sounds of o, d, r, h, w, b, er, and th. We will soon be moving on to words with these phonic sounds.
Some days Layla will spend time doing copy work or practicing writing her letters or words of her choice. She also has several workbooks that she will work on. Again, I try and keep it light and simple. The only thing that I make mandatory right now is Catechism, scripture memorization and phonics. The rest is often at her request.
In the afternoons I have been reading aloud to the kids. This is an important part of the Charlotte Mason theory of homeschooling as well as the Thomas Jefferson Education Model. We finished Charlotte's Web last week. That book was wonderful as a read aloud because it brought up all sorts of questions and conversations. Layla asked if animals really talked. We discussed butchering animals and where our food comes from. The book details the scientific explanation of how spiders spin webs. It covers a variety of vocabulary words such as "salutations" and "languishing" and it gives definitions. Layla also recognized the different emotions that the book's characters experienced. All this from a lovely little classic! I guess there is so much to be learned from reading and discussing the classics, lol! I say that sarcastically! I just read a book on the classics/mentor model of education and will hopefully be posting a book review soon!
Right now we are reading Sprout and the Dog Sitter, which is not really a classic, but my copy of Ann of Green Gables is out in the garage and needs to be dug out for our next read aloud.
Overall, I am very happy with the school year. Layla is just plain ready for phonics, whereas last year she wasn't. Kids are ready to read at all different ages! Her being ready to read makes this school year so much easier and pleasant. That's it so far! We will keep you posted on our homeschooling adventures throughout the year!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
- pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
- brown sugar, light or dark
- ground cloves
- apple juice (optional)
Easy Bread Recipefrom Hillbilly Housewife
- 3 cups of flour (half whole wheat, half unbleached all purpose)
- 1 packet of yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. oil or melted butter
- 1 cup very warm water
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
This is our standby biscuit recipe. Fast, fresh and delicious!
Fluffy Baking Powder Biscuitsadapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (we tend to do half of each)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, room temp.
1 cup milk
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Nate and I love this program because of the delicious chicken, but for other reasons too! First, we are supporting business from our local community. Second, the students learn important experience in business. At the end of each batch of chickens, students figure out their costs of raising the chickens, determine their profits and make adjustments to their asking prices to support the purchasing and raising of the next batch of chicks. What valuable life lessons they are learning that they will probably remember and apply for the rest of their lives! Lastly, Nate and I love supporting businesses that make better choices in food health. We would like to see lots of changes in the way food is raised and processed in our country, and the best way to make change is to use our hard earned cash and support those businesses that line up with our values.
For a little info on the dark side of white meat, click here.
So I encourage you to do a little research in your community and see if you can find some local ways to get your meat fresher and cleaner! I think you will be happy if you do. Check out the Internet, ask around at farmers' markets, chat with local farmers, etc. It might take a little work, but once you find your connections, spread the word!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Just a little update on Gunnar and his napping. I am pleased to announce that he is now going down for naps without any crying. Hooray (applause, cheers and shouts of joy are all appropriate for such an accomplishment)! We are very happy about this, as we have enough whining and crying from other members of the family (no, I am not talking about Nathan).
The next step will be to tackle the task of sleeping through the night. I am currently building up my courage and will power for this. It will probably require a few sleepless nights, but as with most things in life: NO PAIN, NO GAIN!