Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Celebrate Italian Heritage Month


America has been called the melting pot because so many different cultures have contributed to its development and continued success. As a result, we have many different “heritage” and “history” months like February being African-American History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month in September.
Not to be forgotten,

October is Italian Heritage Month!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Freezing Green Peppers

I know the garden season has past, lately however, I've been blessed with a lot of green, red, orange, and yellow peppers. I love to use them when cooking, but with just the three of us, I don't always use them quickly enough.

I fixed that problem.

I Googled how to freeze!

Here are the directions for you so you don't have to Google for yourself.

Wash and thoroughly dry your peppers. (You want them dry so there are not ice crystals when you freeze them.)
Take out the core and seeds. and get ready to chop, slice or dice...your preference. I made pepper strips.
Place them as a single layer on a cookie sheet. They can touch each other a little but preferably not stack on top of each other. Freezing this way keeps the peppers as individual pieces instead of a clump of peppers.
Freeze flat on the cookie sheet in your freezer for a minimum of one hour. One hour gets them hard enough to keep their individual shapes. I left another batch in over night and it was still just fine.
Putting them in a freezer bag after freezing for an hour.
Put them in freezer bag and back in the freezer.

There is my finished product. That is about five peppers worth of colorful peppers!

I know I posted it as FIVE steps, but as you can see, it is only five EASY steps with at least an hour break in between!

Now I should never need to throw away peppers and I should always have peppers when I need them.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Funny---KC ROYALS

Not really a funny since we're going to win the World Series next week, but a great chance to share the song Christian singer Matthew West wrote for us!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Money Math Review Games

We have been teaching a lot of cool classes in our co-op which I've been meaning to share but haven't.

But today, I am listing all the things I am using for my money math class as I plan it! 

In the elementary group, we've been running a little over a dozen kids who are Kindergarten through third grade. A wide range to cover, but I try to use things that would be appropriate for different abilities and arrange for the older ones (and parents) to assist the youngers when needed.

The first activity I'll do is skip counting 1s, 5s, 10s, and 25s which of course are the amounts for our coins. I'm going to make it fun by having us do tiny steps for 1s all the way to leaps for 25s. It will get squirms out, give practice counting coins, and provide some cloaked multiplication review, too. 

I'm then going to have the group divided into three to five smaller groups depending on how many are there. I think a group of 3-4 kiddos with an adult would make a perfect size for the money games I'm planning. I will rotate groups to the different games.

Take a look at my selections:

One is going to be Money Kaboom. You select sticks with different coin amounts. If you count correctly, you keep the stick. If you grab a Kaboom stick, you have to put all your sticks back. 

The second game is Money Dice. You roll large dice with various coin amounts on each side. There is a variety ways to play the actual game. I think we are going to play it to see which person in the group can total up the amount first. Here's the pin for it.

Now I am going to be honest. I am not going to get wooden blocks and paint them. I am just going to make a cube using a printable cube cutout on cardstock. I'm going to use coin clip art for the money.
A third game I am going to use is Coin Grab Graph. I really like that it includes graphing skills. 

The last game I am bringing is a free, printable one from Teachers Pay Teachers. I am printing the cards up on cardstock. It is the "I Have Who Has" Money Game.

Do you have any money games you can share?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Vetiver Essential Oil ADD Experiment---The Hows and Outcomes

In other words, part 2!

Yesterday I posted about the hows and whys of using Vetiver essential oil for ADD/ADHD. I got so carried away with all the information that I decided our personal story needed to wait until today. If you missed yesterday's post, I suggest your read it first to lay the foundation.

Mija has never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. I think there are some definite short attention spans that just arise from being having a sanguine personality! (After all, somewhere else there has to be something more interesting and fun than the schoolwork I'm doing.)

Personally, I suffer with ADCD:
http://snarkecards.com - I suffer from ADCD - Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder. Start cleaning in one room, put things away, get distracted cleaning something else in another room. Ending up with more work which takes twice as long.
See, I just went "squirrel"!! Now, back on topic.

If you read the original post, you know that we started with just Vetiver and applied it to her big toes.

We noticed a difference immediately in attitude, attention and work quality. BUT there one caveat...

No essential oil can change a heart's 
willful, sinful desire.

Using Vetiver oil allowed us to see that some physical or personal elements were affected by the oil, but it did not have any affect on those times when willfulness was demonstrated in attitude and effort (or lack there of). To us this became a secondary benefit of Vetiver because it provided assistance in better seeing the character changes that continue to need to be addressed. It showed that it was not all outright disobedience nor was it all a physical or mental nature. 

We did change how we used it. While sometimes mija still requests some for her toes, we now usually diffuse it.
Here is the mixture I've been using

6 drops of Vetiver
6 drops of Lemon
4 drops of Ylang ylang or Bergamot

The Vetiver is a given. 
Lemon is amazing. It promotes clarity of thought and purpose. There was a research study (which I haven't eyeballed yet) which showed a dramatic improvement in mental accuracy and concentration and test scores increasing as much as 50%. I have not even mentioned all the physical/health benefits! Besides, it just smells "purdy". 
The Ylang ylang or Bergamot are current choices we are making for hubby and me. Might as well oil up the whole family!

I am ordering some Cedarwood oil to use in addition to the Vetiver to see if it makes a further difference. 

Never too many oils!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Vetiver Essential Oil ADD Experiment---The whys and wherefores

Back in September, I shared about our first day of
school and my use of Vetiver essential oil to help with attention during school.

I promised to get back with my results and insights, so here I am!

First, let me tell you a little bit about the Vetiver/ADHD connection.

Dr. Terry Friedmann did a study on the benefits of using Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Lavender essential oils with ADD/ADHD children. Now I'm going to be honest with you. The study was very small, but many essential oil people treat it like the Holy Grail AND misuse it. Let me explain how.

If you look at the actual study Dr. Friendmann admits that when it came to ADHD/ADD, Vetiver had good results, Cedarwood worked pretty well, but Lavender made little difference. Some essential oil people I have seen, however, give all three equal billing in being useful for attention deficit. They are not.

Here are the words of the good doctor himself,

In summary, based on this study, I would not hesitate to recommend the use of the essential oil 
Vetiver in the treatment of children diagnosed as having ADHD. I would even consider using the 

essential oil Cedarwood in situations where Vetiver was not available or other cases in which Vetiver 
was not appropriate. 

 Certainly, the essential oil Vetiver proved to be the treatment of choice between the three 
different oils used in this study. 

From my reading, I agree that to be an accurate finding from his study.

As far as the size of the study, that part does not bother me because there have been a lot of anecdotal evidence which I have found interesting and supportive.

The results of the study and others experience are not surprising when you consider the qualities of Vetiver and Cedarwood.

Cedarwood stimulates the limbic region of the brain and stimulates the pineal gland. It has calming and purifying properties.
Okay, I've dished the dirt about Dr. Friedmann's study and what Vetiver does, tomorrow I'll tell you about what has been going on with us personally.