Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Faster Than You Can Say "Tortelloni"!

I made one of the easiest, tastiest dinners last night that I have ever made. 

So I will share with you!  Sorry, no pictures.  I can't even take pictures of the left overs because...


That's how good this was.  Even my kids had seconds.  And that is saying something.

Tortelloni with Browned Butter and Sage Sauce

2 packages of Buitoni cheese filled tortelloni
1 stick of butter
about 1 tsp of dried sage.  If you are lucky enough to have fresh, about 12 leaves.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Put on pasta to boil according to package directions.

In a stainless steel saute pan, melt butter.  Add sage.  Go ahead and taste to see if the sage level needs a boost. Stir over medium heat constantly until you notice the butter turning foamy.  As soon as it starts to turn a little brown, TAKE OFF the heat!  It will continue cooking in the pan, so you don't want it to burn.  Add lemon juice and salt and pepper. 

By this time the pasta should be done.  Just use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the pan with the butter sauce.  Add a little of the pasta water and Parmesan cheese and stir to coat. 

Guess what? You are DONE.

I served this with steamed broccoli and it was delicious.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Teach Them Well

For some reason there are a few misguided notions of what homeschoolers are 'supposed' to be.

1. Child geniuses who attend college at age 12 and build computers out of tin cans and Silly Putty

2. Social misfit who doesn't know when to raise their hand or wait in line and can't function without Mommy telling them what to do.

While there are some of these types, I'd venture to say that the majority are *gasp* normal kids with normal abilities.

And given the two stereotypes, can I just say the first one is the one I struggle with more than the second one?

As a homeschool mom, there are days I feel the pressure to have my children 'outperform' public schooled kids because when you homeschool, your kids are 'supposed' to be 'geniuses'. 

Uh...I have a confession. My kids are normal.  Above average in some subjects, struggling with others. 

I also have another confession....

When I signed up for this homeschooling gig, character training was as important to me as academics.

In my opinion, it is a waste of time to press your child to learn Latin, physics, trigonometry and the ilk if they never learn to be compassionate, respectful human beings. 

Does it make me a horrible mom to think I would be more 'okay' with the fact of my kids having a blue collar job, but having integrity and having Christ guide their actions than if they were uber successful in their careers but being hollow, shallow souls?  

Not saying there is no need for higher education, oh no.  I am teaching my children subjects that will futher their educational goals and serve them well in life.

But as a homeschool mom I have the brief opportunity to actively shape my children's character.  I don't want to let that escape me.

That lesson is the one they will remember all their lives, and the one that will serve them the rest of their days.  Success and money and prestige can come and go. I need to prepare them how to live when the world tells them they need to give up and give in.

It's a lesson I intend to teach well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome To My World

Hello there! Welcome to my little corner of the world....in particular, my dining room.  You know you are a homeschooling family when your dining room table looks like this....

 Let me guide you through this mess. Algebra and math books, and a physics workshop....

Oh, and Legos.  Bags of Legos, along with the instruction manual.  And tires from some vehicle....not sure where the rest of it is.

 One armed wrestling dude, shaking his one good fist angrily at the ladybug habitat, complete with ladybug that was rescued from a puddle in one of my Crocs this morning.  The other wrestling dude is doing his yoga moves for the ladybug. 

Algebra should be taken with a 'grain of salt'....Hahahahaa!  Oh man, am I funny.

How about you? Is your table this crazy? Or is it immaculate?

Monday, September 17, 2012

When I Was Your Age...

Having been a homeschool mom for a few years now, I have developed a tough skin.  Certain things that other people questioned me about that used to annoy me now just roll of my back...the socialization thing for starters. I *know* better, so I can simply shrug that off. And the worrying about the quality of education...the numbers don't lie, so I know better on that one too.

Yesterday there was a statement presented to me that has had me a little ruffled ever since.  And it wasn't said in a condescending way or anything, just a matter of fact. Actually it was said to my kids.

"When I was your age, I had to get myself up and ready for school everyday! Mom was at work and we had to do it ourselves."

Of course my initial reaction was indignation. 

But the more I thought about it, I had to face facts.  My kids don't have that level of responsibility.

Their alarm clocks go off at 7:00, but many mornings I am still having to shake them awake.

They don't have to 'beat the clock' to manage time wisely.  They are allowed to shower and dress at their leisure, they have time to eat their breakfast, brush teeth, etc without feeling the pressure to be 'done' at a specific time.

Should that worry me?  When they are adults, will they be lazy and not good managers of their time?  I am kind of on both sides of this fence. When *I* was their age, my mom was a stay at home mom. But I had to get ready for school and rode my bike to school every day. 

Or is this something that is irrelevant when they join the work force?  When you know you 'have' to be somewhere, that prompts you to get on the ball and get ready...right?

Or should I consider this one of the benefits of homeschooling?  The luxury, at least for a little while in their lives, to enjoy starting out the day in a pleasant way, ready to tackle their 'job' of learning with more enthusiasm. 

What do you all say?