Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bean There Done That

No, I didn't misspell a word. I was just trying to think of a catchy title for my post on canning.  I was so very pleased last summer; for the first time ever I learned how to can.  Well, I had made freezer jam and I had exposure to canning as a child, since my mother did a little of it.  But with the encouragement of my 17 year old, homeschool graduate daughter, I learned how to can the vegetables that we grew in our garden.  The reason my daughter was such an encouragement to me was because she was so enthusiastic to learn how to can too.  So we endeavored to learn about how to properly can vegetables.  With the help of some wonderful videos, books and a lot of research on the internet we taught ourselves how to do this process.  My mother had given me a pressure canner and a large canning pot so we were raring to go.  Our first hot water bath canning was strawberry jam. This turned out to be pretty easy and I was thrilled with our success.  Then we went on to green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini,  pickles and applesauce!  The biggest fear I had to overcome was using the pressure canner.  It was a little intimidating since I had never used one before.  The steam and the spinning weight on the top were a constant concern to me.  I envisioned an explosion and steaming hot water and vegetables all over my kitchen, but thankfully my worst fears never came to be.  This year we are hoping for more canning adventures. (No explosions please.) We planted a larger garden because our canned supply from last summer only lasted about six months and I'd love to see us get through a few more months.

Even more valuable than being able to feed my family was that I learned how to can right along side my daughter.  We both learned valuable lessons that will be passed on for many years and maybe to many more generations.  It showed me that we should always learn new things.  How can we grow if we do not have a teachable spirit?  You're never too old to learn something new and what better way to learn than side by side with your children?  I hope you and your children will enjoy learning something new together this summer.  I'll let you know how our beans "can" out.  Happy homeschooling!

Proverbs 12:11a  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread;

Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Birthday Blog-jacking

This is Jennifer's daughter, Holly. I'm hacking, not really, into her blog to write a nice little note in honor of her birthday. She does know that I'm doing this, she just doesn't know what I'm going to say.
My mom has been the person that I look up to the most. She has endeavoured to instill in us a love of the LORD and to train us up in the way we should go. She's patiently taught her stubborn daughter (and two equally stubborn sons) all the way through school and I can't remember her ever complaining about. She encouraged us to learn and grow our skills and has been supportive through many tedious undertakings. She has taught, by example, the joys and beauty of home-making and how to be a supportive wife.

"She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates". - Proverbs 31: 27-31
Happy Birthday, Mum! You're the best! Please drop her a little note to wish her a happy remainder of the day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Dad's Role

Lately I've been thinking about the very important role my husband has in our homeschooling.  Besides being the principal, he is our leader.  He also deserves all the credit for encouraging me along this road all these years.  If it wasn't for him we wouldn't have taken this on at all.  At first, he wasn't so sure about homeschooling.  He wasn't sure that it was the right thing for us.  He had all the concerns that a lot of dads have in regards to the children and their learning the important things; like math.  I could understand this concern since math was my weakest subject in school.  But after much thought and prayer and several one on one interviews with other homeschooling families, he was sold.

He has been a wonderful encourager and has been there along the way to pick up and help out when needed.  When I felt like things just weren't going to work out he encouraged me to stay the course and not give up.  He believes we are doing what the Lord has called us to do.  He will be the first to tell other dads that homeschooling is the best thing that they can do for their children.  He has taken me to many home school conventions, because he knows they mean a lot to me.  He is the one who shares with others how wonderful the conventions are and how they are very convicting to him.  He also takes our family on many educational vacations traveling to places that are historically important because he loves our country and wants our children to understand its history.

As Father's Day approaches I hope to do something very special for him so that he knows how much he means to his family.  I'm afraid we just don't let him know often enough how much we love him and all he does for us.  As our youngest son begins his first year of high school at home next year I know my husband will have many ideas for his growth toward godly manhood.  I already know that there are some wonderful woodworking projects and drafting lessons in the works.  Some have even been completed; check out   picnic table on our family blog.

Happy Father's Day and happy homeschooling!