Thursday's Thoughts: Week of May 12, 2013


My good friend, Beauty Queen, turned our family on to Pioneer Woman’s cornbread {with some modifications to get rid of the shortening}. I made some last night for supper and it always reminds me of my grandma’s cornbread growing up. According to Preacher Man, it’s the best cornbread on the planet. The way our family eats it up, I think I would agree.


Believe it or not, I’m not currently reading anything! {Pick yourself up off the floor. Shake it off.} However, I do have Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means coming through inter-library loan. Just like when I was a public school teacher and had to go to conferences and in-services to learn about new teaching methods and curriculum, I try to do the same as a homeschool teacher too. I’m always trying to learn how best to deliver information to my kids. Homeschooling is my job, so I try to stay up to date on what’s out there.


To a fly buzzing and the ceiling fan beat out it’s rhythm. Summer has officially taken hold here. No relief for at least five months. Ugh.


About how crazy this weekend is going to be. The girls’ ballet recital is Saturday and rehearsal is Friday. Lots of running around, tears, and then satisfaction when it’s all over!


Out our school for next year. I’m torn between continuing with Heart of Dakota {which we LOVE!} and moving into a more stream-lined approach of do less, but go deeper {aka strike out on my own}. I hate indecision.


Feel free to follow me on Pinterest using the button in the sidebar. I wanted to share some of my favorite finds this past week:

Homeschool: I pinned some American history coloring pages this morning. They are fabulous! It is basically a timeline in coloring page form. Check it out here.

Home: Older mothers always tell younger mothers how short the time is with our children. Recently this idea came across my Pinterest feed, and I fell in love! It’s such a great idea to remember the little things {and big things!} that happen from year to year.

Cooking: Once a week I try a recipe from Pinterest. Some of them are okay, but not worthy of becoming a permanent part of the rotation. Others are really good and everyone likes it. This week the big hit was this. It was so good and very easy.


My quiet time in the morning. The house is quiet, I have my caffeine drink of choice, studying my Bible, surfing the Internet. It’s bliss.


The Twirling Trio. Chipette and her two of her best friends {Jane and Princess} took ballet together when they were five. While Jane and Princess no longer take ballet, this picture makes me smile. If you can’t dance with your friends, who can you dance with?

Looking forward to a new week of productivity, loving, learning, laughing and cooking in the tree house,



Wordless Wednesday: Housekeeping

“I clean my room, Mommy!”

In all fairness his room was very clean. The hallway…not so much.

Encouraging good habits takes lots of practice and teaching in the tree house,


Tasty Tuesday: Arroz By Any Other Name

Last year for Cinco de Mayo, I did a Mexican food recipe and I intended to do one again this year for the Tuesday after May 5th, but life interfered {as usual}. So without further ado I’m sharing with you the BEST Spanish rice recipe you’ve ever eaten. The best part is that it doesn’t take much longer to make it than it does the packaged Spanish rice.

Here is what you need to make Spanish Rice:

¼ cup canola oil or butter
2 cups rice
½ onion diced
½ cup frozen corn and some carrots
3 chicken bullion cubes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
3 tsp. garlic salt
4 cups hot water

First, put oil in large skillet. Add rice on medium heat. Stir occasionally, do not burn.

Add onion, garlic salt, chicken bullion, tomato sauce, and hot water, then corn and carrots.

Put lid on and let cook on medium heat for a few minutes, and then turn down to low for 20 minutes.

Do not remove lid for the 20 minutes, then stir and let sit for a few minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

Be forewarned….this recipe makes a LOT of rice, so when I’m serving this for our family of five I usually halve it.

It is so delicious that it’s spoiled me for most rice side dishes in our local Mexican restaurants.

Spanish Rice

¼ cup canola oil or butter
2 cups rice
½ onion, diced
½ cup frozen corn and some frozen carrots
3 chicken bullion cubes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
3 tsp. garlic salt
4 cups hot water

Put oil in large skillet. Add rice on medium heat. Stir occasionally, do not burn. Add onion, garlic salt, chicken bullion, tomato sauce, and hot water, and then corn and carrots. Put lid on and let cook on medium heat for a few minutes, and then turn down to low for 20 minutes. Do not remove lid for the 20 minutes, then stir and let sit for a few minutes. Fluff with fork.

We all love, love, love Mexican food here in the tree house,



Mama Monday: One of My Mom Heroes

On Sunday we celebrated the greatest and most difficult calling in the world…being mom. I wanted to use this Mama Monday post as a spinoff of the sermon Preacher Man gave this Sunday about Jochebed, the mother of Moses (Numbers 26:59). When you’re in the trenches doing the most important job in the world, you need all of the encouragement you can get!

Jochebed obeys God.

          In Exodus 1:22 the Bible tells us that Pharaoh gave the command for all Hebrew baby boys to be thrown in the Nile River, but only the girls could live. The reason for this extreme act is because the current king of Egypt was concerned that the Hebrew nation had become too large and powerful. He was afraid that they would rise up against the Egyptians (Exodus 1:8-10). During this time, Jochebed, who had already given birth to at least two children, Aaron and Miriam, gives birth to another baby, a boy. She hides him for as long as she can, but eventually she knows she must do something or the Egyptians will find him and throw him in the river. This mother was willing to stand up against the strongest empire of that time to do what God had said and what her mother instincts told her to do. Protect her child. Today as mothers we are also called to obey God, to do what He commands, not what society or the government says is the proper way to be a mom. Sometimes these spheres may overlap, but ultimately we must obey God when it comes to raising our children.

Jochebed has faith.

          What Jochebed does next sends chills down my spine and puts humility in my heart. She makes a basket for him, covers the basket with tar so it’s waterproof, lays the baby, who is three months old by this time, inside, and then puts the basket in the Nile River (Exodus 2:1-3). Although the Bible doesn’t tell us I’m sure this mother was beseeching God repeatedly to take care of her precious baby, to give him a chance at some kind of life so that he would not die at the hand of the Egyptians. Ultimately, though, this act shows us the depth of Jochebed’s faith. She is trusting God to take care of her son. At some point all of us will have to send our children out on their own as well. At that point, we need to have the faith of Jochebed that God will take care of them. She did everything in her power to take care of her son by hiding him as long as possible and providing him a safe vessel to make his journey, but now she puts her son into God’s care and lets go.

Jochebed takes advantage of her time.

          And God does take care of the baby. In fact, He brings him back to his mother. Pharaoh’s daughter finds the basket holding Jochebed’s son while she is bathing in the river and decides to keep him. At this point we discover that not only does Jochebed love her son, not only is God watching out for him, but his big sister, Miriam, has been following the basket that holds her baby brother. When Pharaoh’s daughter decides to adopt the baby, whom she names Moses, as her own, Miriam steps up and volunteers to find a wet nurse for the baby. Of course, she goes to get her mother and Moses’ mother. At this point Jochebed is hired to take care of her own son until he is older and she brings him back to Pharaoh’s daughter to live with her (Exodus 2:4-10).

This gives Jochebed precious, little time to teach her son the ways of the Israelites and to teach him about the true God. We aren't sure how long she is his nurse, but we do know that the time Jochebed had with him, she used wisely. Moses grows up in Pharaoh’s household as an Egyptian, but he identifies with the Hebrews (Exodus 2:11). Why? It is easy to see, that it is because of the few years that Jochebed had with him to instill a love of God and his true Hebrew heritage. Even though we may have more time with our children than Jochebed did with Moses, ultimately the time that our children will be under our roof is short. We need to feel the urgency that Jochebed did. We need to make sure that we are teaching our children their true identity as children of God and teaching them to love Him with all of their heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Jochebed is blessed with three powerhouses for God.

          We don’t know if Jochebed is alive when Moses returns 40 years later after leaving Egypt, but we can see the legacy of this godly woman. Not only does her legacy live on in Moses, but she leaves behind Aaron and Miriam too. Moses is the lawgiver; he is portrayed many times in scripture as being second only to Jesus himself. Aaron and his descendents become the high priests of God’s people (Exodus 28:1). They lead the people of God in worship for hundreds of years. Miriam becomes a prophetess of God (Exodus 15:20). Of course, all three of them have their moments of weakness and sin, but ultimately we can see the unifying force of these three servants of God. They had a mother who obeyed, who had faith, and who taught them to do the same. Imagine the power and influence that we have today as Christian mothers. The power to raise our children in the Lord and leave a legacy that reaches far into future generations.

Praying for all mothers everywhere to be encouraged and enjoy this challenging work laid at our feet.

The time is too short with my sweet babies in the tree house,