Monday, January 30, 2012

Some Useful Links

Free audio books to download..

Need to clean your oven?

How about some cute organizational printables?

And this app from the amazing Jessica Hulcy, co-creator of the KONOS curriculum!  When Jeff was starting up The Homeschool Channel a few years ago she had this idea, but the techology wasn't it is!!  Jessica shows you how to turn your everyday shopping trips into life lessons for your little ones.  Check it out!

Friday, January 20, 2012


elementary education degree

Sometimes I get too busy to blog.  Sickness, family responsiblities, projects all keep us on our toes and sometimes I just have no inspiration to blog or just don't feel that I have anything worthwhile to say.  I've been going through such a time, but this morning I received  a huge blogging encouragement in my email.  I was notified that Busy Hands Busy Minds was selected as one of THIS particular website's top 100 homeschooling blogs.  I find it interesting that the website is for those who are seeking a teaching degree!  While I do have a master's degree in music education and at one time was certified to teach K-12, I certainly don't think a parent needs a teaching degree to homeschool his/her own children.  However, I am thankful to be listed among some great blogs for those who may be interested in learning more about homeschooling by learning about individual homeschooling families.

Here is the website's short review of Busy Hands Busy Minds.  And please check out the site for some really great homeschooling blogs.  (just click on the award icon to go to the website)

"Anita brings nearly a quarter century of homeschool experience and an appreciation of an approach that allows room for life lessons to “Busy Hands Busy Minds”, where this mom of seven reflects on bravely showing one’s flaws while trying to present the best model and shares thrifty tips ranging from creating clever costumes to choosing a curriculum."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mega Giveaway!

No, I am not hosting a mega-giveaway, but wanted to let you all know about a special fund-raising giveaway that will benefit the Gullett family in their adoption journey.  There are some amazing prizes including a Flexi-Clip like the one I am currently wearing, handmade soaps, gift cards, hard lotions (a favorite around here), cookbooks and so much more.

Please check out this post to find out more about the Gullett family and their adoption efforts and how YOU can enter to win some fabulous gifts.  The best in this situation, though, is that a God-loving family will be bringing home a needy child to bring up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Normal/Crazy/Stressed? You Pick!

We've been passing around a cold here at Busy Hands Busy Minds for the past 11 days.  That included another ambulance ride and ER trip for Caedmon and then a doctor's visit for both the little boys.  Everyone else has started with the ocean in the head symptoms, coughing, etc and this morning...when I was so very determined to have a productive school day....I have no voice!!

I loaded up the car with six of us and we headed to our chiropractor for some much needed adjustments.  On the way home, Jackson (7) started vomiting.  And then, after we got home he started complaining about his ear hurting...again....and then threw up....again!

Jeff starts filming a new project this evening and will EVERY weeknight except two for the next three weeks!  Then he'll be home in the evenings (I hope) for two weeks and then head off to the UK for two weeks for more filming.

Tomorrow I will go pick up the grandchildren and bring them to stay with us for a few days while Lauren and James try to get moved into their new home.  Devin will stay with them to help Lauren...'cause she has already started having contractions and the doctor doesn't think she has much longer until the new baby arrives.

I have about decided that we need to not plan on doing school in January from here on out!  It seems we are ALWAYS sick in January.  I think all the extra sweets and rich foods from the holidays in conjunction with the crazy weather variations that are typical in MS in January combine to lay us low!

Thanks so much for stopping in and maybe we'll get back to posting about more interesting things maybe in March?   In the meantime, maybe you would like to read about WHY my daughter and her family are moving into a new house....find out here.  Or maybe you would like to see how we rendered LARD several weeks ago. Or maybe you'd like to see how we built a chicken tractor!  Or how Jeff and the kids built our chicken coop.  And I still need to post some pictures of our kitchen remodel....that we started the day after Christmas!!  I tell you, we really need a break!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Menu Plan for January 16-22

Well, the kitchen is back in order, but there are still several things that are not finished.  : (  I need to touch up the paint, Jeff needs to finish up the trim work and install the new lights and that will be it....until we can get a new cabinet for the sink area.  Maybe one day I will have it cleaned up when the lighting is good.  I can get it cleaned and looking, oh so nice, but then the lighting is not good.  We are definitely glad to be finished with most of the work, but I am already looking ahead to getting the dining room, hallway and the boys' bedroom painted this year.  There is always something that needs to be worked on around here!!

Our days will be a little more topsy-turvy this week as Jeff will start filming his newest project tomorrow evening and every night next week and into the next week as well.  That means he'll be home a little later in the mornings and a couple of the older ones will be gone with him in the evenings.  I don't know when they will be able to eat, but I've planned a menu anyway.

B-cranberry/apple baked oatmeal
L-tuna salad or shredded chicken wraps, apples, popcorn, or chicken soup
D-chili with beans, tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream

B- applesauce muffins, bacon, eggs
D-pork carnitas, peppers and onions, refried beans, rice, corn tortillas, salsa, sour cream, cheese

B-pancakes, sausage, eggs and grits
L-French onion soup and fresh bread

B-ham and cheese quiche and sausage biscuits
L-potato soup, rolls, apples
D-deer steak, rice, gravy, butter beans, creamed corn

B-cranberry/apple baked oatmeal
D-homemade pizza

B-biscuits, sausage, eggs, grits
L-leftovers, popcorn, apples
D-baked chicken, coucous, flatbread, tsatziki, salad, pepper, olives

B-cinnamon rolls
L-roast, potatoes, carrots and onions, green beans, squash, rolls
D- pot luck with small group

Saturday, January 7, 2012


No, we are not quite finished with our do-it-yourself kitchen remodel, but I am hopeful that today will see the job completed....well, completed enough for now anyway.  We will still need to install the new lighting and will soon need to replace the sink cabinet and countertop, but for now our work is almost done. (on that job, anyway!)

Thanks so much for bearing with me...I have saved you some time in the cyber world by not having many posts these last few weeks and I have noticed an increase in Busy Hands Busy Minds "followers" thanks!!  It is always a great honor to have someone join us on our journey through this busily blessed life that we lead.

This morning I was blessed with a post over at Raising Homemakers.  It just spoke to me in view of all the work we have been doing around here.  Take a look and see if it doesn't bless, encourage and inspire you as well!!

Raising Homemakers:  Feminine Diligence

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Menu Plan for January 2-8

We are smack-dab in the middle of a huge kitchen remodel at Busy Hands Busy Minds.  My stove, refrigerator, freezers and microwave are parked in the dining room while the dining room table and chairs are shoved off to the side and are topped with various kitchen accoutrements as is a temporary table that is set up in the den to hold even more kitchen ware.  Folks, it. is. a. mess!!

I now have a nice new frame around my kitchen window, painted walls and trim work, painted cabinets and tile on half of the floor.  Jeff will finish placing tile tomorrow and I hope to do some touch-up painting around him.  Then we will need to make some final decisions on finishing out the cabinets, grout the floor, hang shelves and just get everything back in order.  Oh, and then there are still the new light fixtures to hang, a broken dishwasher to remove and eventually a new cabinet for the sink and new countertops. A kitchen remodel just brings chaos to the whole house, doesn't it?  We will be so thankful to have it completed and are very pleased with the way it's turning out.

As we can't use our stove right now, our cooking is limited to one hot plate, two crock pots, a large roaster oven and the microwave.  Right now I am testing out a cranberry apple crisp in the roaster oven.  If it works out we will be taking it along with some green beans in the crock pot to our church's pot luck dinner tonight.  If it doesn't we may be taking cheese and crackers!!  This is my menu plan using my limited cooking resources this week.  Hopefully my kitchen will be back in order by next weekend!

b-bacon, eggs, grits
l-venison stew and broccoli soup
d-grilled burgers, homefries, carrot sticks, pickles

b-cold cereal or granola
d-turkey pot pie, English peas, apple cranberry crisp

b-sausage, eggs, grits
l-sandwiches, carrot sticks, apples, popcorn
d-cheese quesadillas with salsa

b-cold cereal or granola
l-sandwiches, popcorn, fruit
d-beef roast with potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans

b-pancakes and sausage
d-chicken spinach alfredo, pesto bread, salad

b-biscuits, bacon, sausage, eggs, grits
d-stewed potatoes, peas, corn, turnip greens, sauteed squash and corn bread

b-cinnamon rolls
d-baked chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions and any leftover veggies, dinner rolls
s-with church small group
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