Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our homeschooling life

Homeschooling is such a blessing. Each day I take so many opportunities to help Ian learn, grow and play. I think there is so much more to school than just sitting at a tdesk doing book work, although for us workbooks are part of our schooling. However schooling for us also includes cooking meals and working with recipes, clearing garden beds and planting seedlings, caring for our dogs, and remembering to play, a lot. Also since we moved three times in the past year, it was easy to make education a simple part of everyday life.

Imaginative play is one of the most fun parts of our day. We go on challenging aventures, where we meet mysterious peopl, battles dragons, fend of sea monsters, and rule the kingdom with fairness and kindness. You can see the kids at ACE had a blast creating their very own Chinese dragon using muslin and markers on the day we talked about the Chinese New Year Celebration. Above you can see all of use sporting the "Olympic" medals we "won" after learning about the winter olympics that were in progress at the time.

As part of our schooling Ian is involved with a variety of outside activities that range depending on the season and his interests. Currently we meet once a week with other at ACE (Athens Cooperative Education) which right now is comprised of a loosely planned activity based on a topic and lots of outdoor play. He also particpates in a fantastic class at the Georgia Botanical Garden called Garden Earth Naturalist Club where he has had the chance to disect owl pellets (see image --->) and make his own personal worm bin.
Right now soccer season is getting going and he's excited about the first game which is tonight. He's glad to play soccer although in all honesty, sometimes things get away from me and I wasn't in time to sign him up for little league this year. It's lucky for me he is such a "go with the flow" sort of kid.
This year we aslo joined a local chapter of the Earth Scouts which is a group based on the principles of the Earth Charter signed by over 80 countries focusing on human rights, the environment, local economies and other important issues of our time. We've been to the local recycling center, created butterflies to add to an exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art which remembers the children from the holocaust, did projects from reclaimed materials, planted seeds to grow a little garden, visited a local alpaca farm, among other things.

Last week he participated in his first big homeschool event last week. Here in Athens there is an event called the Omni Fair which offers homeschoolers the chance to share what they have been learning about or what they are interested in. Ian created a diarama using all of the dinosaurs from his collection. He designed the diasplay and gave me precise instructions about how he wanted it to look.
All in all we've been having a blast this year with or schooling and I just thought I would take a minute and share that with ya'll. So, here's to you for whatever works for your family, whichever methods help your child/children succeed, it's all good.

Friday, March 19, 2010

big week

It's been a big week here at the Veteto house. Jim, who has been working on his PhD for the past five years had his big day on campus. He has been diligent, and steadfast in his gathering of information, taken months to interview folks, and this past Monday he spent the afternoon defending his dissertation. WOW! The light is actually shining from the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coconut Flax Granola

The other day I wishing that I had some granola around to eat for breakfasts and to offer Ian as a healthy snack. I hate to buy granola becasue I feel like there is always so much sugar in it and/or chcolate, candied fruit, etc., and so I never actually do buy it. However, I do like granola a lot, so this morning, in the midst of a fairly otherwise lazy Sunday, I decided to mix some up.

Over the past few years I have been utterly spoiled by my mother-in-law's homemade granola. We all love it! She started with a recipe from Andrew Weil and has adapted and altered it over time to fit her needs. It's really delicious. This morning I cam up with my own version and felt like sharinf. This recipe make almost 2 quart jars worth.

Coconut Flax Granola

1T canola oil

1T coconut oil

1/2c brown rice syrup

1T vanilla

2c rolled oats

1/2c raw hulled sunflower seeds

1/4c raw sesame seeds

1/2c flax seeds

1c unsweetened shredded coconut


3/4c raisins
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a large bowl combine everything except cinnamon and raisins. Mix well until all ingredients are coated. Put on a lightly greased or non-stick cookie sheet and form into a mound (very important step). Sprinkle on top with cinnamon. Bake 20 minutes, mixing every five minutes and re-topping the mound each time with cinnamon (you'll do this 3 times). The granola is finished baking when it is slightly browned. Remove from oven and pour back into bowl. Add raisins and mix well. Spread out evenly on cookie sheet to cool. Store in an airtight conatiner like a mason jar.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


This recipe was given to me by a friend who also loves to experiment with foods and try new things. The first time I tasted them, I instantly fell in love.

You can check out her other trials at http://growingrileys.blogspot.com/

I tweeked it just a bit, so here you go. I hope you too enjoy these delicious sweets that have no refined sugar or dairy.


1C walnuts halves or pieces
1/2c raisins
1/2c dates (pitted)
1/2c cocoa powder plus and extra 1/4 -1/2c (unsweetened, raw would be super)
2T coconut oil
1/2c unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine all ingredients excepts extra cocoa powder and shredded coconut in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add enough of the extra cocoa powder to make the mixture a bit drier and that doesn't feel too oily when rolling. Roll into walnut sized ball and then roll in shredded coconut to coat. Can be put in the refigerator to harden or eaten right away. Sinfully delicious without the need to feel guilty.

Salon de Refuses

Everyone in Athens

Come on out tonight to the Morton Theater for a Parisian stlye Salon de Refuses to show of works that did not make it into the Lyndon House Juried Exhibition.

Reception from 7-9pm

Here is my piece that will be displayed, Orchid in Plaster