Review: Managers of Their Homes by Terri Maxwell

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This 175-page spiral-bound book by Steven and Teri Maxwell has been around for over ten years now. I’ve seen ladies (online only) mention their “MOTH schedule,” looked at a few online, and shrugged. I saw that the format was that you schedule out in columns what each member of the family is doing — including babies — and thought, “Ah, well, I could do that on my own if I wanted to make up a schedule.” And, when I have … Read More

Essential Tools: Kitchen Shears

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One of the most handy tools to have in the kitchen, beyond the essentials, is a good set of kitchen shears. From slitting open a pack of bacon, to cutting those strips of bacon in half, to snipping herbs and trimming fat off of meat. Use scissors instead of a pizza wheel to cut pizza. I don’t own a pizza wheel. Instead, I use scissors to quickly and cleanly cut pizza slices. Fewer tools, but multi-purpose tools, makes for a … Read More

Books Read in June – Simply Convivial

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The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Library. Recommended by Mental Multivitamin. It was an enjoyable book about the science behind how habits work, how habits are or can be manipulated, why they are important, and, woven throughout, strategies for how they can be changed. It’s not just about “bad habits” or addictions that are obvious, but about how our lives run on autopilot more often than we are consciously choosing what we do — and that that is good, … Read More

Homeschool Review: TATRAS Phonics Program

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My mom taught 6 of her children to read with Teach America to Read and Spell, and I have so far taught 2 with it. It is a simple and straight-forward “vertical” phonics method where you memorize all the sounds of each letter and letter combination (phonogram, like th) at one time. The program includes more phonograms than many other programs, resulting in there being far fewer words that “break the rules” of the system. The pages can seem intimidating … Read More

Books Read in May – Simply Convivial

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Mystie’s Books Read 100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire, Chestnut King, by N.D. Wilson You no longer have to be in England for magical worlds to find you. I loved these books! Excellent, excellent, excellent, and highly recommended. The second two in particular are pretty intense, however, and the evil in them (and I know Wilson loves Chesterton, who said, “A book without an evil character is an evil book”) is true evil. But evil is defeated by nobility, by those willing … Read More

Review: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

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My friend Kirsti recommended 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam to me, and I checked it out from the library after she returned it. It gave me quite a few things to think about, a few things to rant on, and a few things to immediately act upon. Her primary thesis is that if you look at your time in week-long portions, you, well, have more than than you think. You are not actually … Read More

Books Read in April

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I missed my resolution to read at least one fiction book per month. I think I’ll easily make it up, though, because I just started 100 Cupboards. Plus, my fiction intake usually has an uptick in my last month of pregnancy. This month my reading was mostly-fluffy but interesting non-fiction. Mystie’s Books Finished in April The Christian Homeschool by Gregg Harris Own. I bought this used some time ago. I picked this up off the shelf to make a dent … Read More

Books Read in March – Simply Convivial

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Mystie’s Books Read in March I thought I’d start a monthly feature about books the boys and I have read. For awhile I was posting a review of each book as I finished, and while I like the practice of reviewing books, I’d rather do just a short summary & comment than a feature-length review for most books. So I’ll do that and just combine them, adding in a few of the boys’ favorites of the month, too. Maybe we’ll … Read More

Lemonade Taste Test & Comparison

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A book that I am sure will make it onto my Top 10 for 2012 is Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reece, also known as The Tipsy Baker. In it she writes engagingly and humorously about her year-long project to compare the quality and cost of store-bought and homemade foods. It doesn’t always come out in favor of the homemade. As I read I was struck with the desire not only to try out many of her … Read More

Review: Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot – Simply Convivial

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A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul by Holly Pierlot My rating: 5 of 5 stars Own. Recommended by Willa & DeputyHeadmistress. In case my Tri-City friends are interested, the Mid-Columbia Library has ordered a copy. Overview A “Rule of Life” is a concept the author took from medieval monastics. I found it interesting that it incorporated many concepts popular in current self-help categories, yet she never mentioned the modern … Read More

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