Saturday, July 16, 2011


My blog has a new home- or come see what is happening in St. Augustine

Simply St Augustine

Come over & check it out! Leave me a comment or send an email to let me know you found it!

I hope it's more searchable & easier to use for all of us. See you there!!

The Best Part

Lynda and I have been friends as long as we've been moms.

We have new church families, 3 moves with us following them into a great neighborhood, births, entrepeneurial dreams with our hubbies, huge job changes, and losses a lot of history- and 13 children- between us.

You know how it can be with great friends... total opposites and yet so very much alike. {smile} That's us.

Well every year, when the homeschool convention rolls around, we claim Friday for "our day". We ride together and catch up on 25 missed phone conversations, chat about the sessions we're excited about and hopes for the coming year. Then comes my favorite part. We go to Biscotti's for a delish lunch (and always miss the session we plan to make it back in time for)!

That's the best part!! Shared memories. Shared lives. Real life (running late, not caring, splashing through the rain, walking into signs, questioning frostitution(!?), big decisions (what to have for dessert) and little decisions (which curriculum to buy), sharing concerns, prayers, drinks and hugs).

Laughing with a tried-and-true friend. The best(est) part. :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why Smaller is Better

Today is the day! I'm headed to the local homeschool convention.

It's true, it is much much smaller than FPEA in Orlando, but I still go every year. Why? Because sometimes smaller is better!

1. It's local! I can get to know other local homeschoolers by volunteering with HERI, chatting in the hallways, and meeting friends of friends.

2. Networking... it's helpful in homeschooling just like it is in corporate America! I learn who to go to for testing, evaluations, questions about high school, great field trip ideas, and tips on how to homeschool with preschoolers by talking to others who have "been there".

3. Smaller crowds mean I can have "face time" with speakers. If I am fascinated, challenged by, or curious about a speaker's topic, I can follow up with a conversation. The same goes for vendors- if I'm having a hard time teaching a particular concept in Math, I can go to Math-U-See's booth and speak to my rep in person!

4. Convenience. If I don't go local (and my friends & their friends don't go) then I may not have the OPTION to attend my hometown convention next year!

So, if you're undecided, take the time and make the effort to attend, glean from, and support our local convention. See you at HERI!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HERI- Jacksonville Homeschool Convention!

I'm excited for this weekend... tomorrow and Saturday I'm headed to the annual H.E.R.I. Homeschool Convention at the Prime Osborne Convention Center in downtown Jacksonville.

What a blessing to have this helpful resource for current or potential homeschooling families RIGHT HERE in our own area!! The very first contact I had with homeschooling information was a H.E.R.I. (Home Education Resources and Information) convention.

It's not too late to go, here's their website with helpful information. You can pay at the door!

And here is the program with the speaker listing & description of sessions. I'm looking forward to hearing Todd Wilson again, he's an engaging speaker and encouraging Homeschool Dad. (Okay, okay, I should make those lowercase... but sometimes it does take a superhero to fill that role!)

See you there!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

At Your Request

We made these cupcakes for Clara's First Birthday. The recipe (link below) is from Better Homes & Garden's 150 Sweet Recipes Cupcake magazine- Granny bought it for Lauren, our 9-year-old-cupcake expert.

My friend Gini requested this recipe after eating one (or was it two?) cupcake at the beach and taking home the rest "for her hubby". :) Yes, carrot cake fans, they're really that good! It's a nice update of a carrot cake- the cream cheese filling is a nice surprise- and a cupcake is the perfect size to enjoy but not over-indulge. Unless you eat three.

Carrot Pineapple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting- Link to the original recipe

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Morning's Harvest

Guess what's for dinner tonight? Grilled Eggplant, fresh okra and a salad with cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and goat cheese! Our harvest this morning is dinner tonight!

Many people think that you can't grow anything in the heat of a Florida summer, but we're still enjoying the bounty of our garden.

We harvested the first of our garlic last week and a few pears are starting to ripen. Our first cantaloupe was almost ready, but a squirrel or raccoon beat us to it. {There is currently a warrant out for this creature, dead or alive.}

It's time to pull the plants that are finished producing- for us, that includes tomatoes and brussel sprouts. I'm going to solarize this patch of garden- cover the ground with plastic & let the sun "cook out" any nematodes and fungi enjoying my garden. {Any experience doing that?} Everything deserves a rest- I'm thinking of God telling the Israelites to give their land a Sabbath Rest in Leviticus 25.

I'm happy to give my little garden a rest and am looking forward to mixing in a handfull or two of compost when it's time to put in my fall garden!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

We are enjoying some sweet family time with GeGe this week. I love being in the kitchen with my grandma, but Lauren has mostly replaced me! She and GeGe get in there and whip up some yummy meals. I won't be too jealous. ;)

GeGe is leading the meal planning most days, but I do have a Mexican Black Bean Chili in the Crock Pot this week- it's a new recipe & I'm excited to try it. Vegetarian Crock Pot recipes are often bland & boring, so I'm happy to be building a good collection of tasty ones!

If you have any tried-and-true veggie crock recipes, I'd love you to share them! Email it to me and I'll post on the blog for others to enjoy, too!