Banana Blueberry Muffins: It's That Kind of Morning

                        


It's That Kind of Morning!

I have this crazy craving for a yummy muffin, but can't quite wrap my taste buds around it.
It all started when I remembered a Bran Muffin from my favorite bakery, Edelweiss Bakery. I know. But trust me, this is like no other bran muffin. (I used to work at this fantastic Bakery. If you're in San Diego, go visit. Tell Lynn and Gerry Bekki sent me...)

By the time I grabbed all the ingredients and made my way home I had made other plans...

I feel free to defy my recipes and create one of my own. (Notice, these are no longer bran muffins)

Banana Blueberry Muffins, by Bekki
1/2 c. Butter
1 c. Sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla (because, vanilla.)
3 smooshed bananas
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c wheat flour ( you can use just plain, all purpose too...)
1 c flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c blueberries


Quietly combine all ingredients except blueberries. (Quietly... My kids are still sleeping).
Fold in blueberries.

Bake 325, 50-60 minutes. (It's done when the kids wake up and a toothpick comes out clean when you poke the bread)

You can bake in muffin cups or loaf pans, just adjust the time.
I bet you want an exact time adjustment. I am a by sight baker.
Set your timer for 45 minutes if baking muffins, 50 minutes if baking loaves.
Check for done ness. Bake slightly longer if necessary.

Ovens, elevation, humidity, and life itself can effect baking times.

**freeze for quick breakfast or snacks!!

Back to School Giveaway TODAY ONLY!!!



We kick off our Back-to-School Membership Sale with a co-sponsored 
 1-day giveaway TODAY, July 28th (9am-9pm CST) with Notebooking Pages!


Back-to-School Membership Kickoff Giveaway

1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER (value $850):
  • Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership
  • plus 11 Sponsor gifts
24 WINNERS:
  • Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership
Freebie for everyone:
  • Notebooking Pages Sampler Set
Please spread the word!!!

Back to School Giveaway: Mark your Calendar!!!


For ONE DAY only, you have a chance to win a lifetime membership to notebooking Pages!!! I am so excited about this giveaway. Last year, a few of my readers were chosen to win!

Today: get ready for tomorrow's giveaway!
Mark your calendar!

Back-to-School Membership Kickoff Giveaway

Hindsight: 16 Years of Homeschooling


If I could rewind the tape and begin homeschooling my kids today with the benefit of my 16 years of experience, what would I do differently? 



1. I would spend the first 6-12 months to a year organizing my home, working on establishing a daily rhythm, and study my children.

2. I'd go to the library at least once a week allowing them to choose books that interest them, and hand picking random books for me to read aloud. I would be watching for what they are interested in, what makes them excited, what they find boring, etc.






3. I would rely on my husband more in creating a vision for our children, rather than trying to figure out what everyone else is doing. I wouldn't waste a second trying to make what works for your kids work for mine. I'd keep my husband in the loop about our daily escapades and accept his advice more quickly. I mistakenly thought that because he worked outside the home all day he would be unable to see what the kids needed. This piece of humble pie would have been better to consume early in homeschooling.

4. Rather than spending countless hours worrying about this curriculum or that, I would begin with the family goals we have now:

  • Put the highest priority on sharing our love for Jesus with our children. 

  • To insure the kids know their math facts inside and out. Period. Forget learning them, they need to over learn them.

  • To inspire a love for literature by exposing the kids to a steady flow of great books. (I would read aloud daily no matter what their ages). I'd be picking the brains of the veteran homeschoolers, librarians, and authors that are in my sphere of influence for suggestions and I would prioritize a daily reading habit.

  • I would focus all learning to develop excellent written and oral communication skills. I would find my children pen pals so they could perfect the friendly letter.

  • I would have them do copy work from the masters and discuss why the sentences, paragraphs, essays, or stories are so great. I would understand that excellence in writing really comes from being well read and practice, tactics, practice.

5. I would find opportunities for my kids to stand and share in front of others, whether it is during a family BBQ or performing with the local theater- giving them the skill and confidence to speak in front of others.


6. I would view curriculum, tests, quizzes, and state tests as resources to help me customize each of the kids education, not the substance of their learning.


7. I would relax more.
I'd let the kids get dirtier.
I would get dirtier.

We would play in the rain, build in the snow, chase rainbows, cloud watch, visit the farm, play at the beach, collect more leaves, examine more bugs, watch more plays, attend the theater, interview our doctors and dentists, locate inspirational guests like missionaries, mechanical engineers, artists, poets, and ace mechanics to share their passions with the kids. I would put a map of the US and the world under glass or plastic across my kitchen table and every single time we read or heard about a place we would locate it on the map and discuss how close/far it it from us.







8. I would hide the duct tape...























9. I would do it all over again. And again. And again.

I know my children so much more intimately because of homeschooling. I am forever grateful for the vision my husband was given for our family.










How about you?
What are the top few things you would change if you could rewind the tape and homeschool those beginning years with the wisdom you have today?



Am I a Good Enough Homeschool Teacher?


I wrestle with feelings of insecurity when it comes to homeschooling our boys.


Sometimes I wonder if I am the best teacher for my children... Am I alone?

Last week I picked up the novel my son was reading to help him with comprehension. He is reading Call it Courage. As I read the first chapter I realized that this book was not about a boy's struggle with war. (That's right! I never even noticed the cover)


Good Lord, help my children!

OK. I am not the most literate adult I know. In fact I did not read one book in high school. I was that student that could scan and skim, gather the right information and quotes to get an "A" in the class while never really having to read anything.

I was pleasantly surprised by the plot of this tiny little book my son was reading, yet it made me question my ability to lead him.


  • How could I possibly teach this child when I couldn't even scan a book in advance to know it was about an island culture and their worship of courage? 
  • How could I look myself in the mirror and be confident in my ability to help my son love learning?


After about three days of feeling bad, I realized my son's interest had awakened as he read about and drew the setting of the story: an island surrounded by a beautiful coral reef.

I picked up a Coral Reef book filled with fantastic photographs and we began exploring the complexity and delicacy of these living structures. Oh my, we were and continue to be captivated!

In our research we discovered a new creature: The mantis shrimp. Holy smokes! This little guy is fantastic. Supposedly this creature has the fastest movement in the animal kingdom as it punches its prey. We had to learn more...

A quick internet search, led us to one of my favorite YouTube Channels "Smarter Every Day" and viola, there was the beautiful, powerful, and astounding mantis shrimp. This one is worth watching with your kids!


So there you go. A ride on my homeschooling merry go round.
First I allow my son to read a book that I know nothing about.
second, I form an opinion about the book strictly by its title.
Then, I am struck "dumb" as I read to catchup with my son.
next I see an opportunity to follow a rabbit trail down an area of interest.
Then, we become engrossed and amazed in a little creature we didn't even know existed.

Yep, a successful homeschooling week I'd say.

Of course, I failed again when I fell for the "Finding Nemo is all about a coral reef": hook, line and sinker.

How about you?
Do you ever struggle with feeling like you fall short as a homeschooler?


Math Fun: Summer Multiplication Practice

TEXT Wars: Teaching the Dangers of Texting and Driving by Playing a Simple Game




We have five sons. Five.

We are currently teaching son #2 to drive. Phew! 
If you want to know the condition of your heart, teach a teen to drive.

Teens Know Everything.
So how do you teach the dangers of texting and driving to a teen?
By being sneaky.


I created a Game to Trap Teach Teens 
About Texting and Driving. 
Grab your copy before they test their luck behind the wheel!



Step One:
Challenge them into a "I can text faster than you."
Their own ego traps them in this stage of the game. It's beautiful.

Step Two:
Reward their accomplishment of beating you with a small treat. 

Step Three:
Take their text times and "translate them" into driving distances.
(don't worry, The sheet and directions are in the game)

Step Four:
Take it outside and use dice and hazard cards to give them a proper wake up call!

Step Five:
Agree to NEVER use a cell phone while driving. All drivers sign a contract.

I am terrified that one or all of our boys will be tempted to text and drive or even to simply glance at their phone. The next time you are driving around town simply glance at all the drivers that pass by. Chances are, at least one will be looking at their phone.

So, I created a Game. For Parents, Grandparents,Teachers, Librarians, Sunday School Teachers, Soccer Coaches, Driver's Ed Instructors, Neighbors and Friends to play with Young Drivers...

Please download your copy and play the game today.
My prayer is that it will save lives...









Minds In Bloom: Unexpected Hobbies for Kinesthetic Learners

I am extremely humbled and excited to be featured on 





Please take a few minutes and come join me on Rachel's fantastic website!!

I love Rachel's heart of teaming together with fellow educators to collaborate and share fantastic and inspiring tips, tactics, lessons, and encouragement!

I am confident you will enjoy her website. Be sure to bookmark it so you can find her again. It is LOADED with valuable information and resources!


Sucking as a Parent in Today's World

We suck as parents today. 


In general parents today let their kids float. 

Through life.
   Through school. 
       Through everything.

I suck at that.


My kids don't float. They work.







Things We Fail at in Parenting.

Letting boys be boys.
I have five of them. Trust me, they do not need help being boys. They need help being future men.


We are training up the future men of this world, and we take that seriously. Our boys are clean, clean cut, and hard working... Whether they like it or not.

Letting boys sit around all day.
My "Mommy Sense" (similar to Spider-Man's 'Spidey Sense') kicks into over drive when I see my boys sitting on the sofa during the day. 

I immediately start asking, did you do this, did you do that?
Sorry. Boys should not sit unless they are on the toilet.

Letting my boys have their own style of dress and hair.
Future men worthy of serving God, loving their wives, running their businesses, etc should be others centered. 


If they grow their hair to their tush, drop their waist line to reveal undies, and pierce anything they can, then they will cause "grandma" to feel uncomfortable and cross the street to avoid contact with them. Not acceptable.

While I'm all for freedom of expression, my boys express themselves in a boring way physically and that will give them an edge. 

Expecting teenage years to be Easy.
We expect the teenage years to be hard because we will make them hard.

  • Hard to disrespect us,. 
  • Hard to disobey the house rules
  • Hard to live in our house and break our rules, 
  • hard to break things like curfews, 
  • Hard to be a glutton. 

Yep. Teenage Years will be hard.

Moms and dads, if you have boys join us at sucking to raise them to be wimpy, lazy, self centered men. 

If you have little girls, suck at raising them to be focused on selfies, self, make-up, and sexuality.

We need to suck at parenting "today" and excel at parenting for tomorrow.


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Stomach Issues & Computer Issues

Hi everyone!
I was just notified that one of my posts keeps resendin itself to everyone.

Please bear with me.
4 out of 7 of us at home have a stomach flu and need my constant attention.

I will figure out the issue and correct it soon.

Please:
Delete extra/duplicate messages.
Shoot me an email
if things act strange.
Hang in there and keep following! I have amazing plans for this summer/fall to share with you!

Thanks to the reader who shot me a heads up email!!!

Bekki