Category Archives: Works for Me Wednesday


WFMW – Homeschooling Tip

It’s been so long since I’ve posted a Works for Me Wednesday tip, I hardly know where to begin.

I’ve started this post at least three times. My creative juices stopped flowing several hours ago, I’m afraid. This morning I had an idea of compiling two or three tips in one blog. At this point in the evening I have absolutely no memory of what those brilliant ideas were.

let's go to Texas

Instead of school, let’s go to Texas!!

It’s sad. Still it could be perceived as a good sign. If I was fresh and full of energy and wit, wouldn’t you be a little suspicious about the quality of my homeschooling? I’m tired and mentally exhausted because I’ve poured my wisdom and knowledge out into the outstretched minds of my beloved children.

Whether they wanted it or not.

brothers and friends

David and Daniel were swimming buddies during our time in Texas.

There is one thing I’ve added to our homeschooling routine that I simply must share. It was Tim’s idea, I won’t take the credit, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner.

Sibling Correction Hour

Okay, it’s really only a half an hour and it’s math correction, not life/character/personality correction. I can just see the glee in the kids’ eyes if I opened that one up.

Attention kids, today we have on the schedule a full hour of Brother/Sister Critique. You get to correct their clothing choices, poor manners, and obnoxious personality quirks.


apple pies for the crowd

Apple pies get you a free pass to Alamo Village on Labor Day. How about some apples for the teacher!

No, this is Math Correction time. Daniel and Rachel are in the 6th and 7th grades, respectively. At 2 in the afternoon they exchange teacher’s guides and correct each other’s math lesson for the day. This has a number of advantages:

1) The math lesson actually gets corrected on a daily basis – what a novel idea!

2) I don’t have to do the work – this frees me up to continue my teaching hour with David and Sarah.

3) The kids are highly motivated to do well in their lessons – nothing like some friendly sibling rivalry to keep the kids on their toes

Stop by Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.


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Ice Cream in a Bag

Summer continues to slowly warm our chilled Washington bones. There are rumors that it will be in the 80′s on Friday. Gasp! Run for the sunscreen! We’ve already received three invitations to hit the water (beach, lake and pool – we could do it all).

Sarah's ingredients

Sarah is ready to make some ice cream.

Feeling heady from the sunshine, the younger children and I went to the grocery store this afternoon to pick up supplies for making homemade ice cream. Dinner was a near thing as certain family members voted to move straight to dessert. Thankfully wiser heads prevailed and we enjoyed a nutritious meal before rushing off to prepare our icy sweet confections.

Buddies through thick and thin

The boys pause for their camera crazy mama.

Ice Cream in a Bag


* 1 tbs. sugar
* 1/2 c. milk (or 1/2 & 1/2)
* 1/4 tsp vanilla
* 6 tbs rock salt (or table salt)
* 1 gallon size Ziploc bag
* 1 quart size Ziploc bag

shake it, baby!

Grab a bag and shake it!


1. Fill the gallon size bag half way with ice. Add the rock salt.
2. Mix the milk, vanilla and sugar in the quart size bag. Seal bag carefully.
3. Put the smaller bag inside the larger bag and seal the gallon bag.
4. Shake the bag for at least 5 minutes until mixture becomes thick and ready to serve.
5. Rinse quart size bag carefully with cold water before eating.

let's eat!

Delicious – Cold Stone Creamy R Us

Enjoy! I can see this becoming a summer tradition. It was delicious. Next time I think we’ll double the mixture and make a little more. I would also like to experiment with some add’ins. :) Tim put on work gloves to shake his bag. It was definitely COLD work!!

Project 366 – Day 177

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WFMW – A Smattering of Thoughts

wfmwThe sun has arrived in Washington state and with it a hint of summer. As a relaxed (you could call us disorganized and unscheduled but it wouldn’t be nice) homeschooling family we often need to continue our schooling through the summer months. For the most part this works out well. The children do some school in the morning and we enjoy some of the beautiful sights of Washington in the afternoon.

Sarah at the park

Sarah loves the park.

A few random things that work for us:

Put to good use the children who are living in your home – this may seem obvious but it lately my boys have taken on more outdoor responsibilities. They can mow lawns, trim shrubs, and just generally help with lawn maintenance. The whole family (sans Tim who was working in the city, very conveniently I might add) helped with the housework. They vacuumed carpets, scrubbed out the shower (including a soiled, okay moldy, shower curtain), put away toys, washed dishes, sorted laundry, and swept floors.

david and daniel

Sometimes the boys fight over chores. Winner takes his pick of jobs!

Enjoy the occasional take-out – We are on a strict budget and rarely go out for dinner or bring home take-out, however, there is nothing quite like dinner prepared by Papa Murphy. We have family visiting from Norway and they said they simply couldn’t return without feasting on some yummy pizza. Suddenly I had the afternoon free. No dinner to prepare, the children were busy playing outside and working on the hedges, I managed to clean and organize the laundry room. It was lovely!

timothy and joshua

The boys enjoy a little football after dinner.

Read, read, read aloud to your children – We are definitely a family of readers. The dire threat last week, when the children went to visit grandparents, was that they could only bring (gasp) ONE book. Shocking. This summer Daniel and I are enjoying Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen in addition to some of his school books. David, Sarah and I are working our way through the Sonlight Kindergarten collection. Rachel is reading Pride and Prejudice aloud to me, after which I conclude up with a chapter of Before You Meet Prince Charming.

rachel smiles

My beautiful princess!

Reading adds depth and richness to our family and is one of our greatest joys.

This is just a very random collection of some things that Work for Our Family. Pop over to Rocks in My Dryer for other Works for Me Wednesday tips.

Project 366 – Day 176

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WFMW – Chicken Enchiladas

wfmwThe third member of our family has succumbed to a bit of the stomach flu bug. One of the joys of a big family is watching illness pass from one person to the next.

Oh, wait, that’s not it. One of the joys of a big family is getting lots of presents. Sharing germs is one of the un-pleasantries. After a long day, I get those two confused.

I tried a new recipe this evening – Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas from It was good and the children ate helping after helping. Tim is still recovering from yesterday’s bug so he stuck to a mild dinner of plain waffles. I would definitely make these again as they were well gobbled appreciated by the family.

Chicken Enchiladas

1/2 tbs oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. cottage cheese
1 tsp salt
1 pinch pepper
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce

1. Saute onion in oil. Add green chilies, taco seasoning and shredded chicken.
2. Mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir well. (I mixed it in the food processor because I didn’t want any cottage cheese lumps to distract my pickier eaters.)
3. Preheat oven 350.
4. Assemble Enchiladas: Heat tortillas until soft (I covered them with a wet paper towel and warmed them in the microwave). In each tortilla spoon some of the meat mixture, cheese mixture and top with shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in greased baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.
5. Bake 350 for 30 minutes.

I used green enchilada sauce even though the original recipe called for red. I didn’t have Monterey Jack cheese and used a Colby/Jack/Cheddar mixture. Tasty and easy recipe. Click here now to see it. I tried to take a picture but the children ate it so fast, by the time I came by with my camera it wasn’t pretty enough to photograph. Ha! Greedy punks. Stop by Rocks in My Dryer for other Works for Me Wednesday blog postings.


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WFMW – No Boredom Allowed

wfmwTime for some summer discussions. How do you deal with boredom among your children during the hot, lazy summer months? Rocks in My Dryer is encouraging everyone to share their greatest and latest tips. I have a few thoughts but am hoping for more inspiration. Here’s what I have so far:

1) Buy a Costco-sized pack of toilet brushes – hand them out at the first sound of the word Bored.

goofy friends

2) Give each child a toothbrush and a single paper towel and instruct them to wash and detail the minivan.

3) Pull everything out of their closet, pile it on the bed and tell them not to come out of their room until it is organized and back in order.

4) Find a stack of instruction manuals for various household appliances and assign Book Reports.

David's reading the Good Book

5) Open the doors and windows, put on your favorite Broadway show (NOT any of the High School Musical films) and blast the volume high.

You can see we know about FUN in our house. Anything else I’m missing? More ideas waiting for you at Rocks in My Dryer.


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