20. December 2017 · Comments Off on My Troubles with the Morning Basket · Categories: Books, Homeschooling, Morning Basket, St. Anne's Academy at Balsam Woods Farm

Are you familiar with the morning basket?

It is an awesome concept.. for morning people.  I am not a morning person. Technically, I think God meant me to be a coffee drinker.  Let me clarify further; a coffee drinker as in one of those people that always have a coffee cup in their hand.  The only problem is, I really do not like coffee. I can drink it disguised as a mocha, but I’m only just tolerating it. I’ll drink copious qualities of hot tea during fall/winter/spring and I drink iced tea by the gallons year round, but there is so far not enough caffeine in a few cups of hot tea to turn me into a morning person.

Getting myself motivated bright and early in the morning to actually pull off a morning basket is probably not going to happen during this lifetime.  I am old enough to know myself and my limitations.  However, I really, really want to do a “morning basket” with my son.  Here’s were I have been for a very long time, not capable of pulling off a morning basket, but unable to figure out where to fit it into the rest of our day.

Lately, I have also been listening to Pam Barnhill’s Morning Basket podcast.  I would highly recommend listening to her podcast series from the very beginning.  She and her awesome guests really get you thinking.  If morning baskets are new to you or something you have wanted to incorporate into your homeschool day, her podcast is the place to start.

Between kicking myself for being a early morning slacker, having morning basket guilt and a conversation I had with my husband the other evening; I had an epiphany!!  Do “morning basket” in the evening when the whole family can participate.

One of Barnhill’s guests spoke about how morning basket can create a family culture.  Well, when it’s Mom and a lovely bunch of children, that sounds like the most beautiful thing ever. God graced us with a son; one child.  It just did not seem fair to be creating this “family culture” between my son and I only.  Our family is so small that if we do not include my husband in creating that “family culture” we are not being fair to our little family.

It occurred to me that including my husband in our “morning basket” would give us a chance to have everyone’s insights, shared experience, shared knowledge, and shared faith.  And when we read make emotional connections with a book, it is not going to be just between my son and I.  It also really does make education something everyone participates in everyday.  Win-Win-Win!

So last evening was our inaugural evening “morning basket”.  (Seriously, I will come up with a better name for it!!).  For an hour and a half, we read, we prayed, we listened, we saw, and we learned TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!

I mean to encourage you with this post, really!  If you do not already do a “morning basket”, can not figure out where to put it into your day or whatever your hang-up is, keep trying to work it in.  There is great value in sharing your education with the whole family, to the best of your ability.

As we continue to do our “evening, morning basket”, I’ll let you know how we as doing.  In the meantime, God Bless and Keep Learning!

UPDATE:  I drafted this post sometime ago (September), and I am happy to report that “morning basket” in the evening with our whole family, is going awesomely!  It has turned into such a connection point for the whole family.  Now for a better name…read-aloud basket, evening basket, learning basket…I’d take suggestions.

08. October 2017 · Comments Off on Morning Glory Muffins · Categories: Recipes

These Morning Glory Muffins make a perfect “breakfast-in-a-hurry”.  Pair one or two of these muffins with a hard boiled egg for a filling breakfast that will carry you through to lunch time.

On the morning that our young man and I have to get to the homeschool co-op, we have to leave by 7AM in order to make daily Mass and co-op.  These muffins are a great “car food” for a family needing to get out the door in a hurry.

Here is the recipe (I used a couple of sources to come up with a version that works for us):

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup canola oil

3 eggs

8oz of crushed pineapple, undrained

3 large carrots, peeled and shredded

1 apple, peeled, cored and shredded

1/2 cup craisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened is fine to use, but unsweetened is best)

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Use cupcake papers to line 18-24 muffins cups.
  2. Combine your dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In your mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the oil, eggs and pineapple for about 2 minutes.  Add the flour mixture, mix until combined. Add in your carrots, apple, craisins, and coconut, mix until combined.
  4. Scoop into your lined muffin cups filling each to about 3/4 full.
  5. Place in center of oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool before storing.  Can be left at room temperature for 4 days or frozen for 3 months.

I freeze these muffins and pull out the number needed the night before to defrost in the refrigerator.

02. October 2017 · Comments Off on New Shirts · Categories: Uncategorized

As part of our creative outlet, we’ve created some new shirts that will help anyone show their joy for their Catholic faith and homeschooling.

First up are our Catholic Pride shirts:

Keep Calm and Catholic On t-shirt Pax Christi t-shirt Keep Calm and Catholic On yellow and white t-shirt

Keep Calm and Catholic On is available in many colors and we also made it in yellow and white, the traditional colors of the Vatican.  We also created the Pax Christi shirts because there is such a lack of Christ’s peace in the world today and what better way to show it with the emblem of His church.

For our homeschoolers, why not show your pride with one of these shirts, also available in multiple colors and youth as well as larger adult sizes:

Life is Good...I'm Homeschooled t-shirt

Finally, we wanted to do something that reflected our family farm and the fact that we produce real maple syrup.  We just felt that we have to support the use of real maple syrup!

02. October 2017 · Comments Off on New Updates! · Categories: Uncategorized

Have you noticed some of the changes that we are making?  I’m sure like you time gets away from you and the next thing you know you Website is out of date!  As part of our updates we are introducing two new areas to the Website and that is Catholic Homeschool Curriculum and Catholic Stock Imagery.

You know that we are Catholic homeschoolers and it can be difficult to put together a curriculum for little ones that meet your needs.  You might be like us and create or use different structures for different classes and it’s nice to come across sets of coursework that is already put together.  So that’s what we are doing.  We are packaging up different courses and bundling it for you in one download.  We are asking for a small contribution for our efforts but we know what tight budgets can be so it is not that much.  Very budget friendly!

As part of the curriculum we are offering packages of historic maps.  We happen to have a very large collection of maps and maps are ideal when studying history.  It really makes it special when you’re studying something like World War II and actually looking at a map that was produced during World War II.  It really gives a different perspective.  We are starting with sets of maps from different times and eras for download and will be adding the curriculum packages as we develop them.

The other new area I mentioned was the Catholic Stock Imagery.  There are so many stock photo places but very few that focus on all things Catholic.  As we visit Catholic shrines and places, we’ve taken hundreds, if not thousands of pictures and we’ll be making those available for anyone at a very reasonable cost for royalty-free publication.

We’ll be working on expanding these different areas but I wanted you to know that we are renewing our efforts to create new content for the site.

18. August 2015 · Comments Off on Stone Soup by Marcia Brown · Categories: Books, January

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown was originally written in 1947; an awesome book with an amazing legacy.  If you are looking for something to do some cold January (National Soup Month) day, pull this book off the shelf and give it a read.

Here are some ideas for activities to go along with your reading of Stone Soup:

1.  Talk soup, what kinds you and your child enjoy.  How are they prepared?  (A Year of Fun Just for Five’s by Theodosia Spewock)

2.  Make your own soup for dinner.

3.  And if you homeschool or just want to expand on your reading with additional activities, check this site for an amazing list!