For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Share a New Recipe Tuesday - Christmas Cookies

A few Saturdays ago, our church had a cookie exchange event and brought these 2 delightful cookies.

I thought I'd share one of the recipes with you all and put it on here for keepsake. Here we go:

Swirled Sugar Cookie

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Measure the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl, mix and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and the sugar. Once smooth, add the eggs, vanilla and combine well.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter / egg mixture a little at a time. Mix until the floor is well incorporated and dough is smooth.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or wax paper and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour. Overnight is also fine. If you want to freeze the dough, you can do so at this stage.
  5. Divide in tree equal pieces and place in three separate bowls.
  6. Knead each color of food colouring into 2 of the dough. I made 1/3 green, 1/3 red, and left the other half as is. Chill the dough again.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough separately to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Using a pastry brush, brush a little water to the darker layer of dough. Roll he other coloured dough around the rolling pin and transfer it on top of the darker layer of dough. The little bit of water will help them stick together. Do the same with the lighter color dough.
  9. Trim the edges so you end up with a neat and tidy rectangle. Save the scraps! You can still bake the scraps up into yummy cookies! They’ll just look ‘marbled’.
  10. Gently start rolling your dough from one of the wider ends, brushing a wee bit of water on the dough as you roll it up. Once it’s rolled up, you can work the ‘log’ to even it out if the middle is thicker then the ends, and to work out any gaps.
  11. Spill out some sprinkles onto the counter, brush the outside of the dough ‘log’ with a bit more water and roll it in the sprinkles. You gonna need a lot.  
  12. Finally, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. You could also freeze the dough at this point to bake at a later date.
  13. Once chilled, slice the dough into rounds to your desired thickness. I like them a little over 1/4 inch thick. The thinner the blade used to slice them, the better. A thick blade will tend to squish the dough.
  14. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 350 F for approximately 8 minutes (depending on the size and thickness). Here is the trick: As soon as the cookies no longer look ‘wet’ on the surface, they are done! 
Et voila! Pretty, swirly cookies!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Hymn - He Who is Mighty

He Who is Mighty (Sovereign Grace Music)

Oh the mercy our God has shown
To those who sit in death's shadow
The sun on high pierced the night
Born was the Cornerstone

Unto us a Son is given unto us a Child is born

He Who is mighty has done a great thing
Taken on flesh conquered death's sting
Shattered the darkness and lifted our shame
Holy is His name

Oh the freedom our Savior won
The yoke of sin has been broken
Once a slave now by grace
No more condemnation

Now my soul magnifies the Lord
I rejoice in the God Who saves
I will trust His unfailing love
I will sing His praises all my days

Friday, December 5, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble Pond

It's Friday and time for a random 5 run down.

1. It's December, the Christmas tree is up.

2. We still have school for a couple of weeks before we take off for Christmas. We did finish our Writing Curriculum from Classical Academic Press (Writing and Rhetoric Book 2). We will start book 3 in January.

3. I have started copywork exercices again. This time we are using Scripture as our base. 3 Goals:
  • Memorization
  • Spelling practice
  • Handwriting practice
I am using Write Through the Bible from Intoxicated For Life, but you can get some nice ones as well from Homeschool Copywork.

4. Zach finished the Biology course with Standard Deviant, now we are going through the free Biology course from Classic Science. He is liking it so far.

5. My oldest, Zach had a birthday last Saturday. Can't believe he is 11 already and entering a new stage. Wow, am I ready for this? That said so thankful to God for Him and what he is preparing him to be by His grace.

Oh and for those who missed this on Facebook, here are a few fun experiments to try:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advent Devotionals - For Those Who are Still Undecided

I am not much of a tradition kind of girl, but around this time of the year I think it is a very good idea to keep our eyes on what really matters: Christmas is about the coming of Christ fulfilling God's promise of sending a Saviour to the world.

To help with that we do what is call "Advent". There is different ways of celebrating and observing Advent, usually in the form of a reflection everyday of the month of December leading up to Christmas.

Today I thought I would share with you a few free resources out there that you could use to help you focus on Christ during this season:

1. John Piper's Advent devotions:
Good News of Great Joy
The Dawning of Undestructable Joy

2. Paul Tripp's Advent Devotion: Advent: The Whole Story

3. Nancy Guthrie: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

4. Make Him Room by Kristen Oliphant

5. Jesse Tree Advent projects. In the past we have use the appendix at the back of the Book: Disciplines of a Godly Family by The Hughes, but you can find many options on the web.

6. Studying the Birth of Jesus Devotional from Mama's Learning Corner

Of course let us not forget listening to some inspiring Christmas songs. Besides the beloved carols (of which my favorite is Hark the Herald Angels Sing), our favorite song artists are: The Getty's and Sovereign Grace Music

Friday, November 28, 2014

Some Thanksgiving Week-End Homeschool Deals

For those of you in search of homeschool deal this week-end, here is a round-up I concocted.

Black Friday Lapbook SALE

2014 Black Friday Sale BIP

Black Friday Sale 650x900

The Whole Shebang Cyber Week Membership Sale

A Few other deals to look out for:

**** Pilgrim's Progress (New Edition): Digital version free on the Desiring God Blog.

***** Fitness 4 Homeschool  - 2013 Black Friday Sales. They are offering:
Core 1 for $37
Platinum Package for $8

Here is my review of Family Time Fitness - Fitness4Homeschool in case you are not familiar with them:

**** All the Amazon Kindle tablets are on Sale at least at 20% off.

Excellence in Writing: 50% saving between December 1-5

Pandia Press: 40% off during the Black Friday week-end

Real Science 4 Kids: The Focus-on bundles are 20% off.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Homeschooling Mom Wish List for Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and many have started the search for gifts to give to loved ones. If you have a homeschooling friend or relative, here is a short list of gifts that will surely warm her heart and make her very grateful.

*** Of course this list is my personal list,but i have no doubt will work for any homeschooling mom and family.

1.  Gift certificate to a bookstore: Amazon, Chapters/Indigo,

2. Gift certificate to an educational or office store supplies such as Scholar Choice or Mastermind

3. A microscope or a telescope. To be honest, any science kit is always very welcome in a homeschooling home.

4. Book, books, and more books. I personally love encyclopedias. On our wish list right now is this particular set: 

5. A membership to some kind of Museum. Homeschoolers love going to museums, and zoos!

6. Games. Educational or board games are very much loved among homeschoolers. Settlers of Catan is one of our favorites but there are many more options.

7. Bookcases. Homeschoolers are known to own a lot of books and always in search of places to store them.

8. Building kits. Lots of homeschool kids love to build and create. These are wonderful gifts to give a homeschool child.

9. Good old Lego. Lego never goes out of date or flavor. Great choice for kids' creativity and quiet time.

10. Audiobooks and DVDs. My boys love audiobooks. Some ideas are:

  • Jesus Storybook Bible
  • The Penderwicks
  • Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Mr Popper's Penguins
  • The Hobbit
  • the Chronicles of Narnia
  • Lord of the Rings
As for DVDs, science DVDS are great! The boys have also enjoyed What's in The Bible. I could not recommend these enough.

And there you have it,  a list to get you started on your shopping.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble Pond
I've missed a couple of Fridays, but here I am today to recap the past few weeks.

1. The boys have been into baking for which I am very thankful. They've been making cookies, according to their taste, which have turned out pretty good.

2. We've been going through A Child's Introduction to Art pretty slowly, but we finally had an art time and made these Illuminated Letters.

3. My boys' new hobbies are their PS3 (Fifa World Cup Brazil, Lego Movie and Lego Marvel games), and indoor football. Don't ask how the latter work, only  my kids can manage to play football (I mean American Football) in a1050 sqt apartment.

4. Johann has rekindled his love for puzzle, as I asked him to do them for me to make sure all the pieces were there for a potential sale. Any takers?

5. In School, we are troding along:
  • Vocabulary, History, Handwriting, Spelling and Writing are going slowly.
  • Math is going steadily. I need to increase the amount of work, but may be will wait until January.
  • Science is going steadily as well. Zach really enjoys his biology course with Standard Deviant. I need o figure out what to do once that's done. Thinking of using The Biology4Kids website.
  • Logic is going along with Johann. Zach has been slacking on his. Time to get going on it.
  • Latin is going for both of them, steadily for Johann, slowly for Zach. 
  • Their daily hour of reading has been made up of The Penderwicks, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Hardy Boys and their newly acquired Horrible History and Horrible Science books