Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pineapple Upside Down cake PLUS :)

Do you like pineapple upside down cake? We LOVE it ... this time I didn't have as many pineapple slices as we usually like, so we added other frozen fruits in the bottom layer with the pineapple...it was DELICIOUS!!

Want to hear my quick & easy pineapple upside down cake reicpe? 

Get a can of pineapple slices and drain them.

Get a yellow cake mix (!!!) and make it regularly except use the pineapple juice as the liquid in the recipe (if there's not enough, just add water to make up the rest).  

Melt a stick of butter in a glass measuring cup and mix enough brown sugar into it (after it's melted) so that it makes a kind of runny slurry (not too thick, but not too thin...kind of right at the pourable/non-pourable stage).  Pour this in the bottom of your cake pan and spread to fill the whole bottom.  Place the pineapple rings in an arrangement (then people often put cherries in the middle of the rings...or sometimes I just fill in the rest of the bottom with frozen fruit of some sort).  Pour the cake mix on top and bake according to the instructions on the box.  

When you take it out of the oven, let it set for 5 minutes or so and then flip it upside down and remove the pan!


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Wooden spoon revitalization

I have an amazing transformation to share with you...it was easy and had a great payoff :)  I have some beautiful wooden spoons that my sister gave me for Christmas a year and a half ago.  They were looking really old and yucky, so I wondered if I could season them like a cutting board or something.  It was so easy! I just rubbed coconut oil into the wood and let it soak for 10 minutes or so...then wiped off the excess and let it sit for 24 hours and then buffed it a little.  

The sad before ...

Rub some coconut oil into the wooden spoons

I just used my fingers :) 

Let it set for 10 minutes

Then wipe off the excess  and let set for 24 hours

After 24 hours they look great, feel great, and are probably more resistant to water and etc.

SO EASY!!!! :) 

Adventures at DMV :)

Just wanted to share these funny/interesting things I saw at the Department of Motor  Vehicles...pen dispensers!!! I've never seen anything like them, but hey, it makes sense, right?! :)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

LIghtning Lit & Comp American Literature: Mid-Late 19th Century -- my REVIEW

When you are a homeschooling mama you want to teach your children everything that they will need for life...the things you excel at and those things that kind of fall along your sideline.  Language arts is one of those topics for me. I had (in my own education) a great background in language arts and composition and I tend to forget that these are not just "natural" skills, but things that I learned along the way and honed and perfected. I need to teach my children these things as well...and this latest review product, Lightning Literature & Composition American Literature: Mid-Late 19th Century Student's Guide plus the Teacher's guide, put out by Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, is a wonderful tool for homeschool parents who want to not only teach their high schoolers literature, but also to help them to write well by using classic literature and authors as a guide/pattern.

This course may be used as either a one- or two-semester course (and so nice--the recommended schedules are included in the book and teacher guide according to each desired length!) and calls for the student to read several works of literature, four books which are not included in the Student book + Teacher Guide package--those books are easily located, either to buy or to borrow from your library: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Huckleberry Finn, The Red Badge of Courage, and The Call of the Wild.  The other readings used in the book are included in the student guide.  My daughter ( the one using this curriculum) had only read one of these before--and even that one she had to re-read to complete some of the comprehension questions and compare/contrast writings.

This thorough curriculum teaches the learner about different literary styles, literary devices, and more...through studying samples of writings by famous (and not-so-famous!) authors.  The student guide begins with an introduction which sets the learner up for succesful learning--including things such as why and how to read literature, what are some of the terms and tools used in literature, and more.  I really appreciated that introductory section (don't skip it!), as it is full of terminology that my daughter either wasn't familiar with ot or was a little fuzzy on.

The student progresses with the introduction of different authors in each chapter.  There is a short biography of an author, followed by a reading assignment (either one of the listed novels or other selections of writing included in the book); the student is given a list of questions to think about as they read the selections, and then there are reading comprehension questions which follow the reading (and yay! the Teacher Guide contains the answers to the questions!) We found that the biographical sketches made it easier to remember the author--made them more of a person, not just a name to us.

This is followed by a discussion of literary tools or form used by the author being studied--with plenty of illustrations--very easy to read and understand.  This section is followed by a "Writing Exercises" section which includes assignments which allow the student to mimic the form or style of the author just studied...but also includes more thought-type questions or those which compare and contrast different readings that have been done in this course. There are poetry and prose; humor and serious themes; famous and not-so-famous authors (and works).  The student is taught/encouraged to use words to give hints and clues...and to engage the reader.  The options under the Writing Exercises heading really are so broad that most students will easily pick one or two which they actually want to do (and maybe mom or dad will ask them to complete a few others which may stretch them more!)

Some other things which are included in this curriculum are discussion questions which the student may enjoy thinking through aloud--or (as is more my style) to think through first and then discuss.

There are also other project ideas which would smoothly accompany each of the chapters of learning...things which, though they are optional, would definitely add to the usage--projects which tie the literature/author study into other aspects of the student's education.

 I have mentioned a few times that there is a teacher's guide which accompanies the student guide. This may look (see the top picture) unassuming, but it is highly valuable and makes this curriculum even easier for the parent/teacher to use.  It contains the suggested schedule as well as things like how to grade your student using this curriculum.

I would definitely recommend this course for a high-school student.  When we first heard of this program, I thought it was basically just a literature course, and was happy to use it as such...but when we began working through it, we found that it is so much more!  My 9th, soon-to-be-10th grader found this easy to use fairly independently.  It is easy to follow along with, and the recommended schedules are a great guideline.  I really appreciate the ease of usage...she can just sit down with the book and understand the expectations for her week.

So what did I mean that it is so much more than "just" a literature course? I guess the name, Lightning Lit & Comp should give it away :) It really is a writing course just as much as a literature course.  The writing skills that are illustrated/modeled/practiced throughout the course are different than those taught in just a straight writing course, and I was very impressed.  I especially liked the section on using dialect and wording to really place the setting.  There are sections on interpreting literature as well.  It's a skinny book--but I can really see how this can be used as a full-year course, especially with recommended "extra" readings and projects. As a matter of fact, though my intentions were to use it as a semester course, I think that we will be slowing down and including more, and increasing it to a full-year course. If you're looking for American Lit--give this a try!! ((and expand your expectations from just a lit course to a lit + composition course!))

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources has several products, and I would urge you to check them out! They have courses for younger students (elementary and middle school aged) as well as a full range for high schoolers!  Please check out some reviews of these other products (as well as reviews of the product we got to use (Lightning Lit & Comp American Literature Mid-Late 19th Century) by clicking on the link below!

Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Every good gift...

James 1:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Just a reminder that God gives us GOOD gifts!  Things we receive that are good...thank GOD for them! :) Maybe they come to you via a human vehicle or something you think you did...but really it all comes down to the gift from God. Thank you Lord!! :) 

Monday, June 3, 2019


My most favorite scent is fresh lilacs. This time of year there abundance is so enjoyable! 

Thank you Lord!

"Every good gift andevery perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." ... James 1:17,