Day to Day Adventure: 9/4/11 - 9/11/11

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

High School Science: Biology Daddy Style

Here at the Brush household school is back in full swing.  We are tackling 10th, 8th & 4th grade.  It keeps me hopping! 

A lot of times when people find out that we are homeschooling they ask if we are going to “do high school” at home.  My answer is always the same.  Until God directs us otherwise we will be doing all the years of our children’s schooling at home. 

Is it perfect? NO 

Is it easy?  Not hardly. 

Would I change anything? Um yeah lots but they’d still be home.

(also if I could have a 30 hour day that would be great).

This year Elizabeth gets to tackle biology.  She is enjoying the information.  She likes to learn new concepts.  However she says so far the vocabulary is not her favorite—there is too much of it.  And well . . . experiments?  If she could skip all that dissecting stuff she would be thrilled.

Oldest son, Michael, dissecting a frog

The sciences are one area that I don’t teach in high school.  I also like to learn the concepts and don’t really enjoy the experiments(snicker if you need to).  I am truly blessed to have a husband whose job revolves around animals and surgery.  He is the one who takes care of biology and all those dissections!  This division of labor seems to work for our family & I am truly glad!

We use Apologia Biology for our curriculum and yes we have a microscope.  Any self respecting science loving daddy couldn’t teach without one.

He does a great job.  Our oldest son decided after taking biology he did NOT  want to follow in his fathers footsteps.  Too funny but Steve is still holding out hope for our youngest, Joshua.  He likes to watch surgery videos with Steve(eww) and he’s only 9.

Of course the material is more challenging than in jr high but he makes sure that they know it.  It is fun to step back and watch how he gets it done.  I just like to smile and remember when they were little and did fun things like learn about bones & make paper skeletons. 

Actually I just found this cute picture and had to share it!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Swiss Steak

I am contemplating fall menus.  As the weather cools I add in more soups & stews to replace some of the salads & grilled meat meals(although we continue to do this even when it is cooler).

Our schedule is busier—especially Tuesdays and Thursdays.  When I plan my weekly meals I almost always do a crockpot meal or a freezer meal on those nights.  Check out the recipe tab above to see other recipes that I use frequently!

I am physically exhausted those days and the last thing I need is to cook a meal when I return home after those days.  So my slave works all day for me while I am gone!

As we now have a wonderful abundance of tomatoes in jars I can start to think about soup, chili and the like.  Nothing is better than opening the garage & smelling dinner before I even open the door to the house. MMMmmmm

Tomorrow I will be fixing Swiss Steak—so I don’t have any pictures yet(might be able to update it tomorrow!)   This is one of those recipes I don’t know it came from—maybe from my head!  It has been around a LONG time, maybe even 20 years.   I love it because it turns out perfect every single time and requires very little preparation & the ingredients are super simple.

Swiss Steak--6 servings

1 bag baby carrots or 5 regular carrots peeled & chunked up

1/2 cup onion chopped

8 oz mushrooms

2-3 lbs steak(whatever you have or like), cut in to serving size pieces

32 oz diced tomatoes

Place the ingredients in the crock in the order they are listed. 


Turn the crock on low for 8 hours or high for 4.  We eat this with brown rice & a salad.  Just right!




Caterpillar years

“Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.”


This quote was on this great list of 50 Rules for Dads the other day(#43).  When I read it well. . .it really struck me.  I just sat there for a few minutes thinking of the children I have in my home.  I am blessed to watch daily them unfold their wings. 

It is a thousand little things they do.  

Working hard and doing things without being reminded.

Setting goals and striving for them.

Praying and having the faith to expect results.

Becoming more independent in their school work.

Making meals without my help.


They aren’t flying alone yet, but they are emerging from their cocoons and becoming the men & women that God is shaping them in to becoming.

It is bittersweet. 

When they were little I dreamt of this day. 

But now I look around and see that I am to some extent working myself out of a job.

So as we work, play and live I am striving to enjoy these caterpillar years.  Where change is still occurring but I can see the beauty in the butterfly that is maturing.


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunshine in a jar

I think of the tomatoes I’ve canned, peaches in the freezer and they zucchini bread we’ve baked as stashing away a little bit of sunshine for a snowy cold day.


Last week I canned 18 quarts of tomatoes.  It is probably the last of the season.

My garden is just about done. 

I haven’t been out there taking pictures of the wonderful produce we’ve been harvesting because well it is pretty much all picked.  I haven’t pulled the tomato plants because there are still a few tomatoes here and there and the zucchini is still producing a few.

But we are basically eating what comes in and not storing any up.  Don’t get me wrong I would rather pick a tomato that go buy one at the store!  They are still delicious but my mind isn’t focused on what needs to be done in the garden each day.

The seasons are shifting.  School assignments not watering and weed pulling are dominating my days.

It is time to do more book work instead of yard work.

I miss summer already. 

Maybe I will try to turn over some dirt and try a fall planting of lettuce.

I am not ready to let go of summer and sunshine just yet.

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