The Mommy Bloggy

Reflections of a Mother's Heart

The Simplicity of Daisies May 25, 2013

Filed under: Life in the Slow Lane — Michelle Ferguson @ 9:35 pm

Yesterday, Lindsay came into the house with a handful of tiny white daisies with yellow-button centers and said, “Look what I found for you!”  I hardly had a chance to respond before she found an old bottle under the kitchen sink, filled it with water, and arranged her bouquet to adorn my kitchen counter.

Later, as I was washing dishes, I was struck by the beautiful simplicity of those little white flowers.  So simple, yet they brought cheer to my kitchen and my heart!  God’s creation never ceases to amaze me!  I love my Lindsay for thinking about me while she was at play!

IMG_7677

Advertisements
 

An Apple for the Teacher

Filed under: Homeschooling — Michelle Ferguson @ 9:23 pm

This is the time of year moms scramble to come up with a new idea for teacher gifts.  We want to show our appreciation in some small way, knowing we can never completely repay them for the time, effort, and love they have poured into our children during the past school year.  At our home school co-op, my children have three teachers we wanted to give a small gift to on our last day of class last week.  They say you should always give a gift you would want to receive, so we like to give food!  At Christmas, we gave our teachers chocolate truffles and at the close of this school year, we gave them caramel apples.

IMG_7662They are so simple to make, not to mention inexpensive,  and they are big enough for sharing!  I think they would also make great birthday party favors!  I melted two bags of Kraft caramel candies to spoon over jonagold apples.  Then we rolled the apples in m&m’s.  You could roll the caramel apples in just about anything you want:  chocolate/white chocolate chips, crushed peanuts, crushed pretzels, crushed toffee and chocolate bars, cookie crumbs, sprinkles, red hot cinnamon candies, candy corn, marshmallows, or you could drizzle chocolate or white chocolate over the caramel.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

We placed our cooled apples in plastic treat bags, tied with a ribbon and a homemade card with a personal message inside written and signed by my children.  These apples are also fun to make and keep for yourself!  Enjoy!

 

Contentment vs. Comparison March 1, 2013

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 2:50 pm

Last week, after I picked up my daughter from her co-op classes, we stopped by Chick-fil-A to get the kids’ lunch to go.  I was using the last three of a stack of free chicken strips coupons we received from a sweet friend.  My kids knew the routine.  We would go in, order the free chicken strips, nothing more, and walk out.  At home, we would supplement lunch with water and fruit.  Easy lunch!  Inexpensive lunch!

However, on this particular day, Brad was home.  He had come home a day early from an out-of-town conference because the kids and I had experienced a water leak the night before.  In the midst of our water woes, I decided to order Brad and myself a Number One Combo.  Well, when the kids saw that, they suddenly were discontent!  They wanted fries.  They wanted soda.  They had always been so happy and thrilled to get chicken strips until….they compared “theirs” to “ours.”

Isn’t that when discontent sneaks in…when we compare ourselves to others?  This lunch incident provided me with a great opportunity to share with my kids how easily we become discontent when we make comparisons.  God does not want us to compare ourselves or our things to others.   He gives us what we need and we are blessed.  No need to crave more, covet more, or control more.

We are not born with contentment!  Don’t most newborns cry?  Contentment is learned, according to Paul who said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11).  And here was a man who knew suffering, hunger, and great need.  As we allow the Lord to be ruler of our lives and we trust Him to care for us and trust He knows best for us, we can learn to be content.  God will give you what you need for this moment in time.

“Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5).  I think this verse sums it up perfectly!  And by the way, I did share my fries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Tubing January 22, 2013

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 9:08 pm

Moonshine MountainOver the weekend, our family went snow tubing at Moonshine Mountain in North Carolina.  Since MM is open Friday through Sunday, my plan was to tube Friday and avoid the crowds.  Ha!  We showed up Friday set to tube (is that a verb?), and we were disappointed to find out they were closed!  The rain they had had the day before melted their snow, so they needed Friday night to make more.  So we returned Saturday morning for another go at it!  Brothers

By the time we parked, filled out our liability form, and stood in line, they had sold out of tubes, so we had a 45 minute wait.  That time was quickly passed with a tour through their small dinosaur park, a restroom break, and watching the snow tubers descend the massive hill.  When they called our name, the kids were so excited!  We got our tubes and dragged them up the hill on our own.  There was also a lift, but the line was long, so we thought we’d save time.  And I think we did save time, but the wait at the top was long, as only two of the three lanes were open (and not to mention that everyone in the surrounding three states was there!  Only kidding, but that’s what it seemed like!).  IMG_7226

All five of us went down together our first time in train-like fashion.  It was fast and fun and we laughed a lot!  On our second trip up the mountain, we took the lift!  We handed our tube’s leash to a worker who attached it to a pulley system, we sat in our tube and relaxed for the ride up the mountain.  We were only able to tube about six times due to our two hour time limit, but it gave the kids a great taste of winter fun.  I told my kids that when I was little and lived in Connecticut, my sister and I and our friends would go to the nearest hill in our neighborhood and spend all day sledding and sliding down what we called the Big Dipper.  And it was free! IMG_7233

It was a beautiful day for tubing, with blue skies and warm sunshine.  Luke was finally able to wear the pair of ski bibs I had bought for him on sale two years ago!  It will also probably be the last time he wears them!  It was a fun time, but I think if we go again, it will not be over a holiday weekend!  And I will call before we show up to make sure they are open!

 

Sometimes a Date Does the Trick

Filed under: Homeschooling — Michelle Ferguson @ 8:34 pm

My afternoon class had ended and while I was driving home, the Lord clearly laid an idea on my heart that came out of nowhere.  I knew I had to do it, even though I had not planned this into my day.  Sometimes “interruptions” are God’s plan for us!

I called my children, and the one I needed answered.  “Hello,” Logan said into my ear.  “Logan, it’s Mom.  Get your math book, your work sheets, a sharpened pencil, and the teacher’s book and meet me at the door when I drive up.  I am taking you on a date!”  Of course, his first question was, “Where?”  When I responded with, “It’s a surprise,”  I could almost see a big grin burst across his face in delight at the thought of getting Mom all to himself for a little while.

After a couple of errands (well, I had to check something off on my list!), we drove into the parking lot of Starbucks.  Our favorite Starbucks is near our library, so at first, Logan thought our destination was there, but he was thrilled to see me park at Starbucks.  I ordered a hot chocolate and a big chocolate chunk cookie for him and a skinny spicy vanilla latte for me.  It was a good day for a warm drink because it was a bone-cold, rainy day.  Everyone else thought it was a good day for a warm drink, too, because Starbucks was busy!  We got the last available table!

Logan had gotten behind on his math lessons for the week, and I had not had time to sit alone with him and just focus on helping him.  So, we opened up his book and worked through parts of three different lessons and two worksheets.  In the middle of this, two older gentlemen joined us at our table for four.  One asked if they could use the chairs, so they pulled them away from the table and carried on a conversation in their own world.  Meanwhile, we continued our work, and Logan was a star!

I think a change of scenery and getting him away from the distractions of his brother did wonders for this boy!  As we walked to the car, Logan said, “Thank you for bringing me here.  It was fun!”  I agreed, it was a fun way to get math done.  Sometimes a date does the trick!

 

 

 

 

Election Lap Book October 27, 2012

Filed under: Brad and Me Plus 3 — Michelle Ferguson @ 9:18 pm

Last week, we put aside our regular school lessons and worked on an Election Lap Book project.  Lap books are wonderful supplements to our home school lessons that we have used occasionally.  I purchased our curriculum download (suggested ages:  Grades 4-8)  for $8 from http://www.handsofachild.com/elections-curriculum.html.  

Lap books are high-interest, hands-on unit studies.  They are a 3D presentation of mini books and graphic organizers put together in a series of file folders.  I spent the weekend before our study, cutting, folding, gluing, and organizing the activities the kids would be working on.  I had each activity ready to go, placed inside a small plastic bag in order.  On previous lap books, I’ve had the kids do all the cutting and folding, but I found that took way more time!  With the prep work done, it was easy to just grab the next activity out of the bag, add the information to the paper, color it, and then attach inside the book.

Here are some of the highlights of what we learned:

  • The symbol of the donkey, representing the Democrats, was first used when Andrew Jackson ran for President and was called a donkey.  He liked it because it described his strong will, so the donkey symbol stuck!  Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic President.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President.
  • Elections are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November because when the process was set up, most Americans were farmers and needed to wait until after harvest to make the day’s trip to the nearest polling place (hence, November).  Since Sunday was the day of rest and family worship, families headed to the polls on Monday, giving them a day to travel, then they voted on Tuesday before returning back home.
  • If electoral votes are tied between candidates, the House of Representatives chooses the President!

The kids learned new vocabulary words, conducted a voting survey among our adult friends, wrote their own campaign song and slogan, and came up with questions they could ask a presidential candidate if they had the chance to interview him or her.  On Monday night, we let Lindsay and Logan stay up to watch the last presidential debate.  It was a good opportunity to compare the two candidates and explain truth.  I saw the following on a friend’s facebook page, and I really like how well it sums up how I will vote, too:

“I will vote for the most pro-life candidate, because God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov.6:17).
I will vote for the most pro-Israel candidate, because God blesses those who bless Israel & curses those who don’t (Gen.12:3).
I will vote for the most pro-debt reduction candidate, because the borrower is servant to the lender (Prov.22:7).  I will vote for the most pro-work candidate because God says if a man not work, let him not eat (2Thess.3:10).  I will vote for the most pro-marriage candidate , because God is for marriage as defined in Genesis 2:24. I will vote for the candidate who most closely believes government’s purpose is to reward the good & punish the evil (Romans 13).  I will vote based as close as I can on God’s Word (2Tim.3:16). Knowing that whoever gets elected, God is the one who puts all men in authority (Dan.2:21).”

Brad and I plan to take our kids with us to the polls November 6th, as we always do, because our freedom to vote should be a family affair.  Our kids need to know how important it is that we participate in the say of who is to become our next president.  It’s a very big deal!  Join me in praying for our elections and Christians, go vote!

 

Fall French Toast

Filed under: Recipes Worth Sharing — Michelle Ferguson @ 1:25 pm

On cold mornings, there is nothing like a delicious, homemade breakfast.  My two boys love for me to make bacon, “healthy bacon,” as Lindsay calls it because it’s uncured turkey bacon.  Lindsay prefers the Wright brand of applewood smoked bacon I buy at Wal Mart.  Maybe in her mind, it’s the “Right” bacon!

Anyway, when time allows, I do occasionally make a big breakfast for my family.  It is a nice break for them from what they usually fix for themselves, cereal, yogurt, English muffins, or waffles.  This is how I make French toast:

Slices of bread (our favorite is Panera sour dough)

4-6 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Half and Half

Cinnamon

Pumpkin Pie spice

I scramble my eggs and add Half and Half, vanilla, and spices.  I don’t measure, I just pour and shake until it “looks good.”  Dip each piece of bread into mixture to coat both sides and place on hot griddle to cook.  Delicious drizzled with raw honey!**  Enjoy!

**Remember not to feed honey to babies less than 1 year old!