Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aborted Babies Burned For Fuel In Oregon

This post will make you sick, and I am sorry for that.  But it's important we understand what is going on in this country.

On The Matt Walsh Blog, he recently had a post on the fact that aborted Canadian babies were being sent to Oregon to provide electricity to residents.  (aborted babies as well as things like amputated legs and cancerous tissue).

Please click here to read the post.

I am sickened on so many levels about this I am not even going into much detail.  Have we no respect for life that we can't even give unwanted (murdered) babies a proper burial?  We already know that their lives apparently meant nothing, but the fact that we would then burn them for electricity, I can't even understand it.

This is where our country is people.  This is how we have progressed.  Proud to be an American, perhaps not.

I would like to take a moment and address the fact that some people would say this isn't really a problem.  It's what you would do if you were cremated.  Listen, I am all for cremation, in fact, that is what I have requested for myself when I die.  But I am against burning these babies with other medical "garbage" for fuel.

Because really, by dumping them with waste, it only shows that we have no respect for life. Cremate the babies respectfully, or bury them.  Don't dispose of them with the garbage.  If people really think it is appropriate to handle death that way, then why don't we start digging up all the cemeteries in the US, and start burning those bodies for fuel?

There was an update at the bottom of the post as follows:

"Update: LifeSiteNews reports that the Marion County Board of Commissioners have announced that the practice of burning aborted babies for power will be stopped immediately. They claim that they were unaware of the practice, but will now put it to an end."


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Inspiration to Steal!

I follow Rage Against the Minivan religiously.  We don't necessarily line up on every view, but I love her blog.  They recently posed for the cover of OC magazine.  And I am totally stealing this idea for our Christmas card next year.  Even if it will be a lot uncooler as we all trail behind each other to get into the Dodge caravan.

Photo Apr 14, 10 50 11 PM

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Favorite Soup

I could eat chicken tortilla soup a lot.  Like every day regardless if it is 100 degrees outside or 20. Edie from Life In Grace just posted her recipe last week.  And you better believe that it is making it into my May meals.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here for the recipe.

And I totally fell off the planned menus for April, but baby, I am back on for May.

Friday, April 25, 2014

If You Wouldn't Say It About A Boob Job Don't Say It About Adoption

Came across this hilarious clip.  Basically it's guidelines for people that have adoption questions and to remember before they talk that if they wouldn't say it to someone with a boob job, don't say it to adoptive families.  I think you'll get a kick out of it.

You can find his twitter account here Jesse Butterworth, and yes, he is an adoptive parent.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

6th Grade Reading List (Homeschool)

Ava will be in 6th grade next year, and I have had a blast picking curriculum.  Hands down, my favorite has been literature.  The girl reads at an extreme level for her age, and we will not do a formal literature program- just good books.

Books = Happiness… I have a mug that says the samething but about marshmallows. This pin would be more correct :)

I read The Book Whisperer, and I highly recommend you look into it.  She basically says give a kid enough books to find what they like to read, letting them quit and start new ones if they don't like what they are on, and eventually they will like reading.  And that schools are destroying reading for kids by making them do endless book reports and grammar lessons with what they are reading. Instead of book reports, she has the kids do journaling.  The kids write about what they read and liked and she responds back to them in their journal.  We will be doing the same thing this year.

The reading list never ends!  I have a 3-page reading list of books I'd like to read!

She also requires her kids to read 40 books a year.  Yep, you read that right.  The least amount of books someone has read in her class is 22.  Twenty two books.  Amazing.

So for Ava, I have gone and made a list of books, quite a few more than 40, but I honestly don't expect her to finish them all.  I searched book lists and put down books I love and came to this grouping.  She will be allowed to read any books off this list, in any order that she wants.  She can stop a book if she doesn't like it, but our end year goal is 40.

Here is our list, in no particular order:

Through the Looking Glass
Peter Pan
The Secret Garden
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Fever 1793
Anne of Green Gables
Enders Game
Robinson Crusoe
The Borrowers
Mysterious Benedict Society
Little Women
Wizard of Oz
Sherlock Holmes
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe
Kensuke's Kingdom
Around the World in 80 Days
Wind in the Willows
Adventures of Robin Hood
Jungle Book
The Little Prince
Gregor the Overlander
A Wrinkle In Time
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
A Little Princess
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Princess Bride
Treasure Island
Lost World (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, not Michael Crichton)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Pippi Longstocking
Cryptid Hunters
Ravenmaster's Secret
The Secret Zoo
Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Watership Down
All Creatures Great and Small
The Moffats
All the Little House books
Mary Poppins- first three books
The Ship That Sailed to Mars
East of the Sun and West of the Moon
Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
Journey to the Center of the Earth
One Crazy Summer
The Westing Game
The Borrowers Afield
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Island of the Blue Dolphins
My Side of the Mountain
The Giver

Most of them are considered classics for kids, and probably you are wondering where Harry Potter is- well, she's read them already.  There also isn't any Hunger Games even though it popped up on every 6th grade reading list I saw, as well as some other books that I would deem "not yet".  I was a little surprised at how many books seemed mature for a 6th grader.

Also, if you have any suggestions that aren't here I would LOVE them.  I say the list is for Ava, but if I am totally honest, children's literature is my favorite to read!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shirley Temple

The kids and I hung out with friends on Monday when the weather hit 70 and finally melted the 22 inches of snow we got last Wednesday.

We all promptly got sunburned and are now paying the consequences of time outside with no sunscreen.  Oops.

Came across the recipe for a Shirley Temple (no alcohol), and it made me so giddy for summer I had to share the picture and the link to go and make your own.  Especially because mother nature has been a beast, and now we are only supposed to be in the 50's until May.  :(

Shirley Temple Recipe with Orange Juice
Yummy, no?

Click here to get the know how from the blog This Lil Piglet.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby Fever

Newborn Longies with Suspenders,Photography Prop, Baby Boy, Newborn photo prop, Newborn Pants, Baby Boy ,  Shower Gift. $35.00, via Etsy.

I don't even know who this baby is, but don't you just want to squish him?  I could have put pictures of my kids up, but they were not cute when they were this age.  I know, it's a terrible thing to say, but they didn't come out looking adorable.  Probably Moyz and Kembia did, but we unfortunately don't have pictures when they were that teeny tiny.

Several of my favorite bloggers have all had babies lately.

1.  Sherry from Young House Love
2.  Julia from Chris Loves Julia
3.  Grace from Camp Patton is due soon
4.  Katie from Bower Power

And Jen from Made by Girl and her husband are hoping to adopt.  And my sister in law is pregnant with her seventh.  And from her pregnancy I learned that once you are over 35 it is called a geriatric pregnancy.  How's that for an ego booster?

Apparently, there is something in the water in this country!  

Friday, April 18, 2014


You know how everyone always complains about how bad their pictures are on their blogs taken with phones?  yeah, they pretty much can't complain anymore.  These two pictures were taken on phones.  I would have put more on here, but for some reason they wouldn't copy.  Go here to see the rest.

my way

View from Ayasofya

I am just going to assume that all of my phone pictures suck because of the location.  These two pics should be evidence of that alone.  And when it comes right down to it, I would rather have crappy pictures of Istanbul than rural, ugly early-Spring Northern US.  Somehow I don't think I will be able to sway Chris on an adventure with statements like this-  "But I can practice taking better pictures in Istanbul than I can here!"  I am however, seriously considering it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

This Is Totally Depressing

On Tuesday we had no snow at all.  And then yesterday happened.

I seriously want to cry. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Kingdom Series

I just got back from three days at a homeschool convention.  Still trying to recover from late nights and all day on my feet.

My favorite part was finding a new author.  I am beyond excited to read his books.  His name is Chuck Black and he does several series.  The one I am most excited to try is The Kingdom Series, which covers all of Biblical history during medieval times.  Someone shoot me now. Because if it has swords and knights, I am totally in.  It's like the Narnia series, only the allegory is much more obvious that they are actually talking about God and the Bible.

Kingdom's Dawn, Kingdom Series #1   -     By: Chuck Black

This is the first book in the series.  They are about $8 a piece.  There are 6 total books in this series and it covers from Genesis through Revelation.

Then he has a book called Cloak of the Light, which is a story on modern day spiritual warfare.  I haven't read it yet, but I am assuming it will be along the lines of Frank Peretti's books, which I also loved.

Cloak of the Light, War of the Realms Series #1   -     By: Chuck Black

Here to order this one at Christian Book.

I am really excited to at some point read these to Owen.  He loves this type of stuff and since the public school gave him a complex about his reading ability, we have been struggling with him declaring that he doesn't like books.  I don't know what age group they are directed to, but once I start reading I will give you an update.

And they are all on audio recording.  They hired a team from England to do the voices and apparently, it totally rocks.  There was a whole bunch of young to teenage boys around this book table, as you can totally imagine, but some of the moms that I went with also said that these series rock.  So I say give it a go.  I know I am.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Have you ever seen the movie Daddy Day Care?  I mean the original one with Eddie Murphy? We love it and laugh hard every time we see it.  Anyway, there is a part in there where they get a certificate and yell "laminated" at this crazy lady.  Its kind of become a Nelson family saying.

And since I bought a laminator for homeschooling it has taken on a whole new meaning.  As in, I love to laminate things.

Anyway, yesterday I fired up good ole' Pinterest and found all sorts of free bookmarks and such and we printed off a ton and laminated them.  Just because we can.  And then I found this beauty.

Free, beautiful journal cards.  Now, I am going to be totally honest here.  I had no idea what a journal card was.  I had to google it.  Basically, it's just a little 3X5 card and your write on it.  No stress of a bound notebook with giant pages and you are thinking how will I ever fill this up?

I tried journaling last year and did awesome for 6 months.  And then one day I stopped and never did it again.  Oops.

But, I could even use these bad boys for To-Do Lists and quick notes.  And people, they are free! The totally, wonderful word.

So, go check them out here.  Even if I never journal, I figure I can do something cool with them for homeschool.

And here are some adorable bookmarks that we did.  You can customize them with your kid's (or yours!) name.  Laminate them for long-term use.  My favorite is the fox.

Printable Woodland Bookmarks

Monday, April 7, 2014

Snoogs & Wilde

Just came across the Etsy shop Snoogs & Wilde and I love it all!

Watercolor Art.  Feather Print.  Colorful Nature Decor.  Archival Print.   Wall Art.  Watercolor.  Snake Print.

Trout Watercolor Print.  Gift for Dad.    Watercolor Fish Print.  Fish Home Decor.  Colorful Art.

Nautilus Shell.  Coastal Art Print.  Beach House Art.     Coral Watercolor Print.  Coastal Art.  Beach Decor.

Most prints are around $38.  Not too shabby.  Especially if try as you may, you just don't have the artist gift.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

To Vaccinate or Not?


As a former microbiologist, I have always leaned to the vaccinate side of the argument.  And to this day, I still tend to tip in that direction.  However, as time goes on along with research, I find myself swinging to the other side.

Recently, a Dr. posted an article in the NY Times saying that exemptions to vaccines should be curtailed by the US govt.  Meaning, if you don't want to vaccinate your children, tough, the govt. will make you. It may be no secret, but I am not a fan of the govt. telling me what to do.  I think this is very dangerous territory.

Here is the link to the article in the NY Times.

And here is an article written in response to the NY Times article.  It is quite lengthy, but very, very fascinating.

Again, take the time and read it.  I think you will be happy you did.  At the very least, it will make you want to thoroughly research any and all vaccines your child will be getting.  Pay attention to the article and the mentioned side-affects of vaccines.  It is quite frightening.

People have quite violent opinions about vaccines for either side.  I don't really think there is a happy medium.  The best thing is for parents to be as aware as they can be.  I think a lot of people spout opinions without research, and that doesn't help the argument at all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Classic Starts

So my love (obsession) with reading transferred easily to Ava.  The kid reads more than I do and that is saying something.  Which is funny because in kindergarten and first grade they wanted to stick her in extra help because she couldn't read fast enough.  But then they used sub-par worksheets like an "a" worksheet using the computer a.  She made all of hers like that, copying the worksheet and they marked them all wrong.  We quickly withdrew her from the extra help.  Now she is the top reader in her fifth grade class.  So the moral of that story is that some kids just take a little longer.

Owen is a little trickier.  He only wants to read non-fiction books.  And said that the books at school were "baby" books.  Now that he is homeschooled, we are creating our own library.  God bless the goodwill for cheap books!

Aside from non-fiction, I have picked up several of the Classic Starts for him.  They are exactly what they sound like if you are not familiar with them.  Classic books in an abridged version for children.


Now, I have to admit that I am not normally a fan of abridged books.  And I kind of assumed I would take a more purist approach with my kids.  They would read the original, and that was that. And then I started reading The Swiss Family Robinson, and there is no way on earth that my kids would stay interested in it with wording like that!  Even if I read it out loud to them I think their attention would disappear because the words are so very different than what they are used to.

For myself, unabridged all the way.  For Owen and Ava in some circumstances, abridged will be great.  We picked 6 for Owen, bought at Barnes and Noble, buy get two get one free.  The Classic Starts were super hard to find used.  They were basically the same price used as new, and we actually came out ahead with the sale at B&N.

I know they aren't non-fiction, but the stories we picked, including the three above, are close enough to non-fiction and they are filled with adventure that I think they are going to work great. We are currently reading Robin Hood and Owen loves it.  I read it aloud to them but then he wants to read some too.  The words are still a lot bigger than what he has done in first grade, but I help him out with the hard ones.

I highly recommend them for your younger readers.  Especially if you have boys like Owen who aren't quite into reading for various reasons.  These just might change their mind.

Coincidentally, though we haven't done them ourselves yet, Confessions of a Homeschooler does literature curriculum based off the Classic Starts book.  I think we will give it a whirl soon.

And just for those who may be interested, I am currently reading:

  The Goldfinch            The Swiss Family Robinson     The Land of Stories

Product Details   The Swiss Family Robinson (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)          Product Details

PS: The link for Swiss Family Robinson says that the book is $34.95.  I don't know why that is because I just paid $9 at B&N for my leatherbound addition.  Also, the reviews are horrible stating that the translation was bad.  But ours has been just fine so I am not sure what the deal is there!