Saturday, August 31, 2013

Introvert, Extrovert, or Rude?

My wise friend, Cynthia, once commented, “I do not allow my children to be rude. If they are spoken to, they must respond.” ( This refers to adults that the parents know or someone in a public place -like a store clerk- when the parent is with the child and the person is just making friendly conversation. You still need to teach your children to be wary of strangers who are trying to entice them.)

A wonderful lesson for children to learn. I began thinking about how I was training my children, or maybe how I might have failed some of them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Family Favorites: Easy Oven BBQ Chicken

bbq chicken, baked chicken

This is one of those recipes that I used to make a lot and then forgot about for awhile.  I remembered it this week and modified it a little bit, but it is still as yummy as ever. I found the original recipe in my Southern Living Cookbook I have just about worn that book out!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Prepare for the SAT

standardized test prep, preparing for SAT
Read good books!
With two National Merit Scholars and two National Merit Commended Scholars, I am often asked, “How should my student prepare for the PSAT/SAT test?”

While I am not a big fan of 'final hour' preparation, I do have some recommendations to help prepare for the standardized tests

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Coping When Your Child Leaves For College

SMU class of 2016- my child is in there somewhere!
So your child just left or will soon leave for college. You, the parent, are probably feeling emotions that range from "I feel like my right arm was just cut off" to doing a happy dance.

I've never done a happy dance when my children went to college, but I have felt like my right arm had been severed. Some of my friends have gone into a short term depression or felt at a loss for several weeks. It is almost a mini grieving process. It is a strange thing for that child to be gone, even if there are several more children still at home.

How do you deal with it?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dorm Room Cooking

My son is not in a dorm this year, but he is not in an apartment either.  He is in a room- a no kitchen, no closet, bathroom down the hall kind of room.  We had to get creative for his kitchen essentials- microwave, refrigerator, crock-pot, and toaster oven.  This post is for him as well as students in the dorm (or even an apartment) who need cooking ideas for the microwave that goes beyond popcorn and pre-packaged food.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


how to succeed in college

All of my children have taken dual credit classes at the local community college by the time they are juniors in high school. This is a change from homeschooling and I suppose it does give them a taste of the ‘real world'. The differences became very obvious to my second child not long after she started taking Algebra at the community college. All of my children are 'smarter than the average bear', but when you live in the shadow of the National Merit Finalist sister, it is sometimes hard to believe that about yourself. Plus, this was the daughter who declared early on “I'm not going to do school” and “math is evil”.

So, after a semester of College Algebra, when she found herself making an 'A' after struggling with high school Algebra 1, she announced her very astute observations on how to do well in college.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Homeschool Curriculum: The Good, The Bad, and The OK, Part 2

Earlier in the week I reviewed the early grades and some basic subjects.  Today, I will pick up where I left off and include high school.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Family Favorites Friday: Parmesan Potatoes

I found this recipe in a cookbook from the Arkansas Association of  Extension Home Economists that I received as a wedding present almost 30 years ago.  My husband loves these potatoes, as do all my children.  I avoid white potatoes due to blood sugar issues, but have found that this recipe works just as well with sweet potatoes.  Enjoy...and share!

Yummy Parmesan Potatoes
1/2    cup    butter  (could use 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup butter)
1/2    cup    flour
1/2    cup    Parmesan cheese, grated ( grated )
1    teaspoon    Greek seasoning
6-8    potatoes ( peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes ) 

 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter to 9 x 13 baking dish; put dish in oven to melt butter. Place dry ingredients into gallon Ziploc bag; add cubed potatoes, shake to coat potatoes. Put potatoes into baking dish with melted butter. Stir to coat potatoes with butter. Bake for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Now that I have your attention, let me clarify that I realize there is no ‘one size fits all curriculum’.  What I deem as “OK”, you may love; what I deem as “good”, you may not like at all.  Different curricula fit different learning and teaching styles.  You have to find what works best for you and your student(s). But, as homeschoolers, I realize we like to know what others have used and what they thought about it.

This will be a two-part post on curriculum. Check back on Saturday (or follow me) to get Part 2.

For more than 12 years I had a student in the elementary grades. I used a variety of curricula over that time span. A few books made the cut to be used every time; some publishers were only used in the beginning of my schooling or later.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Saying Yes to Saying No by Christy Baca opened my eyes to issues teenagers are faced with and the fact that they really do want parents to help them navigate their world.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I've been making mixes to send with my college son when he returns to school next week.  He will be living by himself in a dorm-like room, which means he has no kitchen.  But, he also has no meal plan, so he will be cooking for himself- with a microwave, toaster oven, and maybe a  Slow Cooker I'm not too worried, though, because I know there is a lot of good cooking that can happen with those three small appliances.

So far, I have made granola, mint coffee mix (recipe coming soon), and a homemade brownie mix.  We love this brownie mix.  The brownies can be made in the microwave, too, which is a plus for dorm life.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

“Boys Will Be Boys”

I have 4 boys.
Boys sometimes do crazy, incomprehensible things.

-they jump off the barn roof
-they set the trash on fire in their room and melt the trash can
-they throw sticks at their brother and split open his head
-they play in rain filled trenches and get covered head to toe in mud
-they hit their car windshield to prove that it won't break (it will)

Saturday, August 3, 2013


We like to travel.

When my children were younger we occasionally took a two-week vacation after Labor Day weekend.  Tourist areas are not crowded since school is back in session and the only other vacationers are usually retirees or families with preschoolers.  This is my favorite time to travel.

How did we do this without breaking the bank?

Friday, August 2, 2013


My mom made this granola for my sisters and brother when we were growing up.  I don't remember her ever putting apples in it.  We liked raisins in our granola.  We called it dry cereal and ate it with milk poured over it.

I like to make a batch of this for when we camp or vacation.  I have added some variations over the years that we like even better.

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