Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Scenes from our nature walk

It was a rainy, overcast day today. We decided to go hiking anyway. Mainly because it is supposed to rain most of the week but we also had really been looking forward to our hike this week. During my blogging hiatus, we moved to a new city. We've been here about 8 months now and it wasn't until just last week that we discovered that we have some amazing trails just right down the road from us at a nearby camps sight. We had lots of fun collecting fallen leaves and different types of nuts. Fall is coming!! Yay! We also found a blue mushroom. I had no idea mushrooms could be blue! Not only did we find some really nice trails to hike but we also found this....

I cannot believe this has been down the road from us and we never knew it! By far, the best park in the area! And, because it is in the middle of nowhere, there is hardly anyone ever there. The children had a blast running around, climbing, sliding, and swinging. It was a great morning!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook 8/29

I love participating in the Simple Woman's Daybook. I love taking the time to reflect, to ponder, and to share. For today...

Outside my overcast day.

I am thinking...that math is my least favorite subject to teach.

I am thankful...that prayer is available anytime I need it.

In the kitchen...a sink full of dirty dishes. (It's been that kind of morning!)

I am wearing...a dress I only wear when I want to be really comfortable. 

I am creating...nothing at the moment. But hoping to buy some new embroidery patterns soon. 

I am have some alone time. And soon!

I am wondering...if it's really going to rain all week like they are saying.

I am reading...Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. (It's going very slowly.)

I am hoping...that the children can get through school today without bad attitudes. 

I am looking forward to...being done with school for the day!

I am learning...that prayer is an amazing mood lifter. 

Around the house...there are chores to be done but I really just want a relaxing day. 

I am pondering...ways to make the afternoon fun.

A favorite quote for today..."I am a little pencil in the hands of a loving God who is writing a love letter to the world." ~ Mother Teresa

One of my favorite 3 year old's good morning hugs. Love those!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish school for the week, mow the lawn (if it doesn't rain), do something fun!

A peek into my day...

(Probably my children's favorite toy ever.)

If you can't tell, today hasn't been the best day. The school children are in a bad mood, it's rainy so they can't go outside, the house needs to be cleaned up, my husband has been working long hours lately, and I've been in a really weird funk all week. I'm not complaining. I know everyone has off days and weeks. It is weeks like this that make me SO thankful for prayer. Being able to take a few minutes and whisper a few prayers has been my lifesaver this week. 

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scenes from our Nature Walk

It was a gorgeous day here in Georgia. 

We started out with a little nature journaling.

Beautiful scenery. As always.

I have always thought river rocks were so beautiful!

Observing her domain (in pink shoes). 

He's trying to learn how to skip rocks.
I think he needs to work on his technique.

It is always SO peaceful at the park we go to. 
It's so easy to just sit back and relax.

We decided to go on a mini nature walk after swimming to dry off.
And then I saw this...
First signs of fall!

This was the last picture I got to take on our hike.
Seconds later my 3 year old tripped over a rock and skinned both knees.
I had to hike back down while carrying her.
And just in case you didn't know...
children are heavy. 

But, overall, it was a lovely day to be outside!

Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. ~Nehemiah 9:6

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My favorite whole wheat pizza crust

My family loves pizza. Well, truthfully, I love pizza and my family loves it because they have no other choice. :)  I've always said it is the one food I could probably eat every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. 

Several years ago we bought a nurtimill grain mill to grind our own wheat with. Friends, if you use whole wheat flour regularly, I highly recommend buying a grain mill. The quality of taste, nutrition, and texture is SO much better! It is important to note that freshly ground wheat flour will go rancid in 24 hours if let to sit at room temperature. So make sure you stick any leftover flour in the freezer to use at a later time. I will usually grind about 10 cups of wheat berries (which will equal about 20 cups of flour after grinding) at a time and then stick what I don't use in the freezer. 

I've been making my own whole wheat pizza crust for years.
It's cheaper, healthier, and very easy.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
~ 1 1/4 c. water
~1 tsp. sugar
~1 1/2 tsp. salt
~1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
~ 3 c. wheat flour (freshly ground, if possible)
~ 2 1/2 tsp. yeast

Mix all ingredients together in a bread machine and turn on "dough" cycle. Once the cycle is finished preheat your oven to 425* and turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a couple minutes. Grease a jelly roll pan with olive oil and roll out your dough to fit. Add your desired toppings and then bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to let it sit for just a couple minutes before you cut it or your cheese will start to slide off. 

If I am just making one batch of dough, I mix it in my bread machine but you could easily mix this the old fashioned way too. 

Once it comes out of the bread machine I knead it a little bit and then roll it out to fit my greased pan. This recipe will make 2 circle pizzas or 1 large rectangular pizza.  

Add your toppings. I always just use whatever I have around the kitchen. This time it was pasta sauce, grilled chicken, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, and some italian seasoning. 

Bake at 425* for 15 minutes and then let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with a nice salad and you have a great meal! I have made this crust with white flour as well but I much prefer the wheat. The texture and flavor is so good!

Have you made your own pizza crust before? What are your favorite toppings? I'm always looking for new ideas!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Scenes from our nature walk

We missed our usual trip to the river Monday morning because of bad weather. To make up for it, after we finished school today, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the park. 

I'm pretty sure no one loves avocados more than me. 
LOVE them!

I love the little treasures my children pick up. 
Things I so easily overlook they find fascinating. 

The geese may look like they didn't care we were there.
 But they were not happy. 
I took my photo and we quickly departed. 

Cute duck friends!

It was a gorgeous day to be outside. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook 8/18

Outside my window...the remains of our garden. We finally tore out all the dead plants. It's nice to have a fresh start!

I am thinking...about photography. I haven't been taking many pictures lately and would really like to take more.

I am thankful...for children who are willing and able to help with things like garden work. They are blessings.

In the kitchen...a spaghetti squash that I am trying to decide what to do with. Hmm....

I am wearing...a yellow dress and my old, dingy headcovering. (Gardening isn't glamorous!)

I am creating...handicrafts for the children to do in the afternoons after school is finished.

I am going...back out this afternoon to finish up the yard work.

I am wondering...if I can squeeze in a nap some time today. :)

I am reading...The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. It's challenging and enouraging. That woman blesses me with her insight!

I am hoping...that all the work will get done today so we can have a relaxing evening.

I am looking forward to...our trip to the river on Monday. We always have so much fun.

I am learning...all about counting calories. I'm on week 3 of my healthy lifestyle change. I've lost 7 lbs. so far!

Around the house...blocks, books, and laundry. Oh my!

I am pondering...ways to be more involved in my community. As a stay at home, homeschooling, mama this isn't always the easiest thing!

A favorite quote for honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday- "A party without a cake is really just a meeting."

One of my favorite things...walking down the baby aisle at the grocery store. With all the lotions and soaps it smells just like a (clean) baby!

A few plans for the rest of the tomorrow, the river on Monday, and then a trip to Costco sometime during the week.

A peek into my day...

Be sure to check out for more!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A new school year!

Another school year has started here at the Washburn household. After much thought and many prayers we have decided to take more of a Charlotte Mason approach this year. 

Every Monday morning we start out with a nature walk. 
I pack a bag full of all the "essentials" for making the most of our trip.
Our kit includes:

~nature journals for each of the children
~magnifying glasses
~a set of colored pencils for each child
~ a "keepsake" box to keep found treasures in
~ a bug house
~field guides

I thought I'd share some photos from our latest outing.

P.S. I know it has been a LOOOOONG time since I blogged. Sorry about that. This mama has been busy.