My First Paleo Cookies

ImageYesterday, I came across this lovely recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies. Totally yummy, right? I fiddled with the recipe a bit and made the delicious cookies pictured above! (Actually, I was able to rope my 16 year old son into helping me this time, since the cookies were destined for a girl he fancies! I will have to use this new information to get further help with chores in some way…)

These are not Trim Healthy Mama cookies. I LOVE the low-glycemic THM treats. But for this event, I wanted cookies I could call completely and totally natural, and decided to not worry about the glycemic effect (I did still have the racing heart I get after eating white sugar while eating these)

3 ¼ cup almond meal (half blanched and half Trader Joe’s almond meal)

1 tsp grey sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup honey

½ cup butter, melted

1  cup Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1/2 cup walnut pieces

Because I am the world’s laziest baker, I generally mix my dry ingredients together first and then dump the wet ingredients into the SAME bowl (the horror, right? less dishes to wash!) After the batter was well mixed, I added the chocolate chunks and walnuts. Placed on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in spoonfuls, as per original recipe.

Baked at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. There were a bit on the soft side. Tasted even better after sitting out a bit! The original recipe’s author suggests refrigerating the cookies and eating right out of the fridge for the least amount of stickiness. We took them to a Shakespeare in the Park outing, and they did get stickier and more crumbly as the night went on – but still tasted delish. Recipe makes about 24 cookies.

 

Trim Healthy Mama, Winter Menu, Week 2

Trim Healthy Mama Winter Plan, Week 2

 

Monday

(E) Quinoa with Cinnamon and Berries

(E) Beanadillas/Bean Burritos/LC tortillas (Kids: Regular Tortillas)

(S) Tomato Soup and Chicken Quesadillas

 

 

Tuesday

(S) Muffin in a Mug w/ crm chs (Kids: Bagels w/ Cream Cheese)

(C) To-Go Lunch for CC (lunch meat sands or salad, strawberry-walked-into-a-bar bars, apples, almonds, water bottles)

(C) OUT TO EAT DINNER

 

 

Wednesday

(S Helper) Eggs & TJ’s Protein Bread

(S) Salmon and Salad(Kids: Beanadillas and Veggies)

(S) Egg Roll in a Bowl

 

Thursday

(E) Soaked Oatmeal (and Cottage Cheese for me)

(S) Leftover Egg Roll in a Bowl

(S) Chicken Curry, green beans

 

 

Friday

(S) Eggs or Mug in Muffin                 (Kids: Cereal w/ Milk)

(S) Leftover Meatball Soup

(E) Salsa Verde Soup

 

 

Saturday

(E) Trim Healthy Pancakes

(S) Leftover Soup, Bread and Butter or Quesadillas

(S) Homemade Pizza (Speedy Crust in THM book and TJ’s dough)

 

 

Sunday

(S) Meat and Eggs                                                                       Add Toast

Out to Eat Lunch! Maybe a Crossover or S Helper!

(S)  Chicken Alfredo (Dreamfields for me, pasta for boys)

 

Trim Healthy Mama, Winter Plan, Week 1

 

Trim Healthy Mama Winter Plan, Week 1

 

Monday

(E) Quinoa with Cinnamon and Berries

(E) Beanadillas/Bean Burritos/LC tortillas (Kids: Regular Tortillas)

(S) Tomato Soup and Chicken Quesadillas

 

 

Tuesday

(S) Muffin in a Mug w/ crm chs (Kids: Bagels w/ Cream Cheese)

(C) To-Go Lunch for CC (lunch meat sands or salad, strawberry-walked-into-a-bar bars, apples, almonds, water bottles)

(C) OUT TO EAT DINNER

 

 

Wednesday

(S Helper) Eggs & TJ’s Protein Bread

(S) Salmon and Salad(Kids: Beanadillas and Veggies)

 (S) Meatball Soup

 

Thursday

(E) Soaked Oatmeal (and Cottage Cheese for me)

(S) Leftover Meatball Soup

 (E) Chicken tacos (Schwarzbein Recipe – on low carb tortillas), green beans

 

 

Friday

(S) Eggs or Mug in Muffin                 (Kids: Cereal w/ Milk)

(S) Leftover Meatball Soup

(E) Bryan’s Red Lentil Soup

 

 

Saturday

(E) Trim Healthy Pancakes

(S) Leftover Soup, Bread and Butter or Quesadillas

(S) Spag w/ Meatballs (over Zucchini noodles or Dreamfields for me, regular noodles for kids)

 

 

Sunday

(S) Meat and Eggs                                                                       Add Toast

Out to Eat Lunch! Maybe a Crossover or S Helper!

(F) Whey Shake

(S)  Chicken Alfredo (Dreamfields for me, pasta for boys)

THM Fall Menu

Weekly Fall Menu (to “fall” back on!)

 

Myself:                                                                           Kids:

Monday:

(E) Quinoa with Cinnamon and Berries                                 “

(S Helper) Chicken Quesadillas and raw veggies          Regular Tortillas

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Fotato Soup or Tomato Soup (bread for kids – TJ’s bread if I want S Helper)

 

Tuesday:

(S) Muffin in a Mug w/ cream cheese                         Bagels w/ Cream Cheese

To-Go Lunch for CC (lunch meat sands or salad, strawberry-walked-into-a-bar bars, apples, almonds, water bottles

OUT TO EAT DINNER or CROCK POT MEAL

 

Wednesday:

(S Helper) Eggs & TJ’s Protein Bread

Fotato Soup or Tomato Soup                                                    Soup w/ bread

(F) Whey Shake

(E) Chicken tacos (Schwarzbein Recipe – low carb tortillas) http://onebeggarsrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/schwarzbein-chicken-tacos/ , green beans

 

Thursday:

(E) Soaked Oatmeal

(S) Salmon and Salad (have a beanadilla on low carb tortilla if I want an S Helper)                                                                                                                        Beanadillas/Veggies

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Meatball Soup (http://www.naturalfertilityandwellness.com/cabbage-and-meatball-soup/) or Cheeseburger Pie

 

Friday:

(S) Eggs or Mug in Muffin                                                        Cereal w/ Milk

(S) Leftover Meatball Soup

(S) Beef Stew in Crockpot THM pg 309

 

Saturday:

(E) Trim Healthy Pancakes                                                       THPancakes or waffles

(S) Leftover Soup, Bread and Butter or Quesadillas

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Spag w/ Meatballs (over Zucchini noodles or Dreamfields for me, regular noodles for kids)

 

Sunday:

(S) Meat and Eggs                                                                       Add Toast

Out to Eat Lunch! Maybe a Crossover or S Helper!

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Roasted Chicken with mushrooms, carrots, potatoes. Save bones to make chicken broth to use over the week!

 

 

Desserts:

Pumpkin Bread for 1

Basic Cheesecake Crunch

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie

Chia Pudding

Skinny Chocolate

 

Meal Plan for May 20 to May 27, 2013

Myself:                                                                           Kids:

Monday:

(S) Choc Muffin in a Mug w/ cream cheese if desired         Bagels w/ Cream Cheese

(E) Leftover Chicken/Quinoa, 1/2 sweet potato                  Chicken/Quesadillas

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Speedy Crust Pizza                                                              Trader Joe’s Pizza Crust Pizza

Tuesday:

(E) Quinoa with Cinnamon and Berries

(E or FP) Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad (302)

(F) Whey Shake

(S or FP) Whole Roasted Chicken with Steamed Cauliflower and Broccoli

Wednesday:

(S) Eggs                                                                                       Eggs

(FP) Leftover Chicken Salad                                                   PB & J, string cheese

(F) Whey Shake

(S or E) Stir Fry w/ Chicken or Steak  w/ Konjac              Add Rice

Thursday:

(E) Soaked Oatmeal

(E) Beanadillas/Veggies

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Taco Salad                                                                             Taco Salad w/ Chips

Friday:

(S) Eggs or Mug in Muffin                                                        Cereal w/ Milk

(E or S) Lunch Meat Sandwich (w/ mayo and cheese on Joseph’s pita, or with Laughing Cow on sprouted bread)

(E) Chicken tacos (Schwarzbein Recipe – low carb tortillas), green beans

Saturday:

(E) Trim Healthy Pancakes                                                       THPancakes or waffles

(S) Sponge Bob Crabby Patty and Salad,                                Add Carrots and Ranch

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Cheeseburger Pie

Sunday:

(S) Meat and Eggs                                                                       Add Toast

Out to Eat Lunch! Maybe a Crossover or S Helper!

(F) Whey Shake

(S) Spag w/ Meatballs (over Zucchini noodles for me, regular noodles for kids)

Desserts:

Mugs in Muffins or Mini Chocolate Cakes

Basic Cheesecake Crunch

Frozen Yogurt

Cottage Cheese and Blueberries

Chia Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

Skinny Chocolate

Homeschooling Plan for 2012 – Younger Boys

Daniel, age 10 in August, and Dwayne, age 9 in September, will both be enrolled in Classical Conversations’ Foundations program.  This will be our fourth year with CC, Daniel’s second time through Cycle 1 (Dwayne moved in with us a little more than halfway through Cycle 1 last time).

The Foundations program is a once-a-week, half-day program that helps me homeschool my children through the Grammar stage of learning.  The boys will learn a new fact sentence each week for 7 different “subjects” (Timeline, History, Latin, English Grammar, Science, Math, and Geography) and spend time in class reviewing older facts through incredibly fun group games.  We will flesh out our memory work at home with in-depth history, science, literature, math curriculum and other resources.

Foundations also provides a Fine Arts lesson each week (drawing, music theory/tin whistle, great artists, and composers/classical music), a weekly in-class Science experiment, and a chance each week for the boys to give oral presentations.  Both of them have improved greatly over the years in their public speaking skills, and I am confident this practice will help them as adults to not be scared of communication in the public square.

Here’s our extended plan:

Our whole family will be reading through The Gospel Story Bible together, and will continue drawing our way through the Old Testament with Picture This (an older version of the Picture Smart Bible).

We will memorize Exodus, Chapter 20.

History -

We will use the audios of both Mystery of History, Volume 1, and Story of the World, Volume 1 as our spines for Ancient History this year.  I plan to have us color or draw while we listen each morning.  We will also add in several “living” books having to do with Egypt, Greece, and Rome spread throughout the year.  I want to at least read each of these:  The Golden Goblet and/or God King (Ancient Egypt), D’Aulaires’Book of Greek Myths and Archimedies and the Door of Science (Ancient Greece), and Detectives in Togas (Ancient Rome).  The Bronze Bow would be another great Roman read around Easter, or perhaps Vinegar Boy.

Pinterest (especially CC Mom) has been so helpful to me in finding go-alongs for both the History and Science memory work from CC.  I’m trying to organize week by week, using these go-alongs to study the CC topics a little deeper each week (spending more time investigating if the kids are very interested).

Science -

First Semester (Biology and Botany) -

We will use several Usborne-type books and various websites to look up info on animal classification, plant cells, and animal cells. etc.  We will read parts of Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany book for details on flowers and seeds. Living Books may include Magic School Bus Plants Seeds, Seed Babies, Little Wanderers, Burgess Flower Book for Children.

Second Semester (Earth Science) -

We will go through A Child’s Geography, but out of order so that we can read more in-depth along with our CC science facts.

Language Arts -

Daniel is enrolled in Classical Conversations’ Essentials program this year.  (Micah took it a few years back. Though the program is intended to be for student and parent, because I was tutoring Challenge A I was not able to sit in class with Micah.  He surpassed my grammar knowledge in mere weeks and became my  tutor.  This time I get to learn alongside Daniel!)  Essentials is a full English Grammar course.  We will learn all the parts of speech, memorizing lists such as prepositions, helping verbs, etc.  We’ll learn how to parse and diagram sentences.  Daniel will be writing essays using the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Ancient History book.  I think the writing book will be a little over his ability, but we’ll scale it to be challenging without being overwhelming.

For Dwayne, we’ll continue to work on reading for fluency.  We’re working slllooowwwly through Phonics Pathways at this time, but may try another phonics program later in the year if we need to.  He’s starting to be able to read little readers, so we’ll stock up on those from the library.  We’ll continue in First Language Lessons (although he really enjoyed the first chapter of Grammarland- stories just may be his learning style).

Math -

Daniel just completed Miquon Math.  He did a summer course learning incredible things through a Hands On Equations tutor.  He will work through Singapore Math (5th grade) this year.

Dwayne has been using Miquon Math as well, but it is just too abstract for him. We’ll probably try Singapore Math again (2nd Grade) and see how it goes.

We’ll schedule Math games into our lives.

Dwayne will have two Math tutors this year – my mom, one day each week or two, and another one that we’ll hire.

Fine Arts -

For Music Appreciation, we’ll read Mozart, the Wonder Boy, Handel at the Court of Kings, and Sebastian Bach, the Boy from Thuringia and listen to selections of each composer’s music.

We’ll learn and practice Music Theory and the tin whistle through CC lessons and review at home.

Drawing with Children will guide our drawing instruction.

For Art Appreciation,  we’ll study works of the following great artists, attempting to copy some of their styles: Giotto, Ghiberti, Angelico, Durer, Michelangelo (updated, LOL), El Greco.

My kids love crafting (clay, beading, scratch art, digital art, etc.) and so I’m sure we’ll find time to do plenty of it, probably during their afternoon free times.

Geography -

We are studying Africa, parts of Eastern Asia, and some of the Americas in Classical Conversations this year.  The boys will memorize over 120 locations on the globe by being introduced to them in class and then locating them and tracing them on their Trivium Tables all week long at home. We will also play some games at Sheppards Software (free) and on our GeoSafari for practice.

Latin -

We’ll simply work on memorizing the basic 5 noun declensions in Latin this year.   I will have the kids do copy work and perhaps a memory game to help with review.

Memory Work -

The core of our homeschool involves memory work.  We will work on memory work every day for at least 15 minutes, and dedicate 15 minutes to working on these beautiful lapbooks (which in theory should lead to more memory work time!).

Homeschooling Plan for 2012 – Older Boys

Planning is a bit easier this year now that my two big boys will be enrolled in Classical Conversations’ Challenge programs!  Have I mentioned how much easier CC makes my life?  And how much smarter it makes my kids? :)

Our whole family will be reading through The Gospel Story Bible together, and will continue drawing our way through the Old Testament with Picture This (an older version of the Picture Smart Bible).  Christian is already in the habit of reading his Bible daily (he’s got his mom beat on consistency here) and we need to introduce Micah to this good habit as well.

Christian (age 14): 

Rhetoric -

Focus on Drama 1st semster, reading  The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare and class discussions on marriage utlizing I Isaac take Thee Rebekah.

Focus on Philosophy 2nd semester, reading Sophie’s World.

Language Arts -

American Literature (the books are not all very hard for his age, but the discussions and essays surrounding them will cause him to delve deeply into the books!).  The kids in his CC group will be reading and writing about The Sign of the Beaver, Johnny Tremain, The Call of the Wild, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Billy Budd, Sailor, The Scarlet Letter, The Red Badge of Courage, The Gold-Bug and Other Tales, Through Gates of Splendor, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Born Again, Starship Troopers, Up From Slavery, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Glass Menagerie, To Kill a Mockingbird, Self-Reliance, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, The Old Man and the Sea.

Grammar -

Christian will begin using the Henle books for Latin this year.  I’ve heard they are great, but I’m nervous.  I’m sure he will surpass my Latin capabilities in the first few weeks.  My plan is to keep up with Micah, tho!

Debate -

In the semester, the focus will be on Free Market Economics.  Perfect timing with the election!  I’m sure we’ll have a lot of interesting discussions!  He’ll be reading Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?, The Money Mystery, and A Bluestocking Guide to Economics.  Spring semester will focus on American Government.  He’ll read a collection of 44 original articles, speeches, poems, and legal documents from our country’s history.

In the context of Economics and American Government, Christian will be learning how to properly debate.  I believe he’ll use the book An Introduction to Policy Debate along with lots of help from his Challenge I tutor.

Math:

Christian will be doing Saxon’s Algebra 1 this year.  He wishes he was in Algebra II, but I’m glad he went back and did Algebra 1/2 again last year.  It is a wonderful thing to not have the stigma that goes along with re-taking a class in a brick and mortar school.  He didn’t “flunk” the first time, but he didn’t *quite* own the material either.  So he spent another year in Pre-Algebra during 8th grade and now is truly ready to tackle Algebra.  I’ve learned to be content with the fact that all of us don’t learn all we need to the first time around.  Our minds were designed to be given material over and over and over again for mastery.

Micah (Age 12):

Micah will move into the Challenge program this year!  After tutoring two years of Challenge A, I made the choice to step down just when my beloved son is moving up into that level.  It’s just too much for me this year!  I am so bummed not to be Micah’s tutor, but thrilled that I know the material so well and will have an easy time coming alongside him at home.

Science/Research -

Micah will learn about researching and compiling scientific information this year.  He’ll use real books to learn about Biology and Botany and put the material into his own homemade “textbook” of articles and sketches made by him.  In the spring, he’ll learn several body systems of human anatomy by drawing and labeling those systems daily.

Grammar -

Our campus is having the Challenge A students begin Henle Latin this year as well.  They will be using the same book that Challenge B and Challenge 1 are using, but going at a slower pace.  The goal is mastery of vocabulary, the declensions, and conjugations.  I hope to keep up with Micah for my own Latin learning.

Language Arts -

Micah will use the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Bible-Based Writing book to review the concepts he’s previously learned in writing courses (how to organize essays, reports, etc., and make them presentable and interesting).

My favorite part of Challenge A is the Spring semester’s reading and writing.  Micah will read, write essays, and share in class discussions regarding the following (wonderful) books:  Amos Fortune, Free Man, The Bronze Bow, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, The Door in the Wall, The Magician’s Nephew, Number the Stars, and The Secret Garden.

Rhetoric:

Micah will work on developing clear reasoning skills and utilizing them in class discussion.  He will read two books for this course, It Couldn’t Just Happen (Creation v. Evolution) and Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (basic theology).

Logic -

Micah is “behind” on Math and we haven’t quite decided which math text he should work through this year.  He will be sitting through Pre-Algebra instruction with the Challenge A group, getting a preview of math-to-come.

Geography (falls under Debate strand) -

This is the year to memorize the world!  Seriously!  Micah will draw sections of our planet every single day over this year, learning the locations of current political boundaries, the countries and their capitals, and 150 geographical terms.  I think he will love this class.  It’s very impressive what the kids can do with a blank piece of paper at the end of the year – they can produce fantastic world maps right out of their brains!  This mastery will help Micah in the rest of the courses he’ll tackle throughout middle school and high school.  Knowing where countries are will help him understand history, science, politics, and literature.

A 3-Year Bible Cycle

What do you think about pairing 3 cycles of Bible-learning with Classical Conversations Foundations Program’s 3 cycles?

The 10 Commandments memory verses in Cycle 1 would serve as a great backdrop to studying the Old Testament. In Cycle 2, the Ephesians verses would be a fantastic starting place for spending a year on “Christian Living” (character studies, Proverbs, commands to Christians, fruits of the spirit, etc.).  John 1 naturally leads itself to a Life of Christ study and New Testament survey.

I’m so excited about the idea of building Bible cycles into our homeschooling!

We’ve used some resources in the past to study the Old Testament, are using some right now, and are ruminating on others.  Anyone else have some fantastic OT curriculum ideas for Cycle 1 this year? 

The Picture Smart Bible:  We got an older edition of this for super cheap (look on the web for  the name “Picture This”) and we’re using this right now.  The kids draw a page for each book of the Old Testament, making little pictures for different important ideas to remember.  I found this too hard to implement alone with my kids of various ages, but now that my husband is doing it as a nighttime study it’s working just fine!  We needed one adult to draw and explain while another adult was available to squelch frustration and help where needed.  When all is said and done, each child will have a nice little book of summaries of the Old Testament.  Each book takes us about a week (4 sessions) to draw.

Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament:  This is a guide that takes you through readings of the OT in chronological order.  The questions following the reading are mostly grammatical in nature but some are more dialectic.  It’s very simple, but thorough—a  great way to read right through the Bible for history.  I enjoyed this resource when Christian and Micah were younger, but somehow with more kids (one ADHD) it seems harder to use.

Truthquest’s Beginnings Guide:  I haven’t used this guide but am considering buying it this year.  Michelle Miller brings thought-provoking commentary to your home in conversational style in her history guides, and I’m sure the Bible guide would be similar.  Also available are little lapbook or notebooking pdf files.

What are your favorite Old Testament resources?

Summer Monthly Menu

Day of the Week:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sunday: Dad Brekkie, In ‘n Out, Beef Stroganoff or Chicken Tacos

Monday: Soaked Oats, Tuna Sands and Smoothies, Grilled Meat and Veggies

Tuesday: Bagels (+egg for me), bean burritos or beanadillas, Salmon or Salad (Spinach or Chicken)

Wednesday: Breakfast Burritos or Greek Eggs, Costco Food Court, Beans and Mexican Rice

Thursday: Quinoa and Berries, Nachos, Burgers or Chili

Friday:  Cereal for kids, Frittata for me, PB&J, Tacos or Chili

Saturday: Spelt Pancakes, Quesadillas w/ sausage, Spaghetti

Health goals for me:  Eat salad 2x a day (kale salads often at lunch time), 5 servings of vegs a day, 2 servings of fruit, and 2 TBSP of Brewer’s Yeast daily.  Keep track of protein eaten to find out how much I eat!

A Child’s Geography with Cycle 1 of Classical Conversations

(reprinted from a 2009 blog post I wrote for our local Classical Conversations’ campus)

Several years ago I purchased a wonderful earth science text called A Child’s Geography.  Written by talented author and blogger Ann Voskamp, A Child’s Geography reads like a living book and comes with narration prompts, ideas on notebooking and hands-on activities, and inspirational suggestions on how to practically apply truths learned in a “missional” way.  The book is written from a Christian and Creationist perspective.  It is easy to use with multiple children at different academic levels.

My children were a bit too young for A Child’s Geography when I first bought it, and so it was shelved and forgotten.  Looking ahead to next semester’s Classical Conversations memory work, I suddenly remembered the book!  I can’t believe what a blessing it will be – it seems the perfect complement to CC this spring!  After looking through the chapters in A Child’s Geography, I was able to make a reading schedule for our family that will somewhat coincide with the memory facts for CC.  (Chapter 8 doesn’t fit into our list of CC facts but is about Plate Tectonics and explores the idea of a quick “continental bend” instead of a gradual “continental drift.”)

If you would like to learn more about about A Child’s Geography, check out their website or Google reviews.  The “real” book and accompanying CD-Rom are $35 on the main website, but you can get them for only $25 if you purchase the downloadable version.  Amazon has the “real” version for only $22 (and there are lots of customer reviews to read there)!  The first few chapters of the book are online for free.  If you do purchase the book, please let me know what you think of the CD-Rom (back when I bought the book, the CD-Rom was not available but I can buy it now if you think it’s worth it!).

Our Reading Schedule

CC Week/Science Memory Work Topic                  A Child’s Geography/Topic

13/Parts of the Earth                                                      Chapter 1/Introduction to His World

14/Three Kinds of Rocks                                               Chapter 7/ The Structure of Earth

15/Continents’ Highest Mountains                             Chapter 4/ The Continents

16/4 Kinds of Volcanoes                                               Chapter 9/Earthquakes and Volcanoes

17/Parts of Volcanoes                                                    Finish Chapter 9

18/Types of Ocean Floor                                               Chapter 5/The Oceans

19/Ocean Zones                                                               Chapter 2*/The Lower Atmosphere

20/Parts of Atmosphere                                                Chapter 3/The Upper Atmosphere

21/Great Circles around the Earth                            Chapter 10/Latitude (Chapter 11 is Longitude)

22/Kinds of Weather Fronts                                        Chapter 6/Seasons, Climate, Weather

23/Kinds of Clouds                                                         Finish Chapter 6