Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Update Time! Coffee, Toast, Books and Chicks

I just wanted to take a minute to post a few updates.

Blackie, Goldie, and their three chicks are doing great.  We had a huge rainstorm yesterday and the chicks got soaked, but I found them in the covered cage, one snuggled under Blackie and two snuggled under Goldie.  They are just too adorable.  Both moms are still completely content to share chickcare. 

I have had some readers ask if I still liked my Cuisinart DGB-650BC Grind-and-Brew Thermal 10-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker, Brushed Metal and 6 Slice Digital Toaster Oven.  You can read my post here.  

First, I will update you on the coffeepot. I LOVE it!  There are a few things
I had to learn to deal with initially.  There are more parts to clean and dry daily, but having fresh ground coffee in the morning is completely worth it.  Also, the top on the carafe can be a little difficult to open next day if you don't loosen after your morning coffee.  Especially if you leave any warm coffee in there (what idiot would waste good coffee??? ;-) ).  But the coffee tastes amazing, it is plenty hot enough, and the coffeepot just looks cool.  So if you need a new coffeemaker you should consider this one.

Second, I still adore my toaster oven.  But not to toast bread.  That takes forever (well, it seems to take forever) and I still use my normal toaster for bread slices. But I use my toaster oven almost every day as a convection oven and have only turned on my big old oven twice since February (I was broiling a rack of ribs).  The toaster oven is huge (you can fit real cookie sheets in there) and preheats in minutes.  I have to dial down the temperature about 75 degrees to match my big oven, and it still cooks faster.  It doesn't heat up the kitchen at all and everything I have made (lasagna, pie, potatoes, cookies, oven-fried chicken, cinnamon buns, biscuits, etc.) turns out perfect.  And did I mention it saves energy?

I finished Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting and it was excellent. If you are a parent or are going to become a parent you should consider buying or getting this book from the library. It will really open your eyes. It makes me feel so much better about raising my free-range boys. Sure, I still have Mommy Guilt at times, but I try to deal with it. ;-)

I have read The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) a few times (especially the part covering K-4th grade). I love this book. I am also reading up on the Charlotte Mason method.  I think I will borrow her nature study and narration ideas and add that to my program. 

Duke and I are ready to start homeschooling Kindergarten in the Fall. It seems that everyone I meet says something to the effect of "so Duke will be starting school soon, are you excited?". When I tell them I am homeschooling they give me "the look". I know, I will have to learn to deal with it, but it is still a bit annoying! Maybe next time someone mentions their child starting school in the fall I will give them "the look" and say "what, you aren't homeschooling them?".  ;-)

My sis Heather is trying out the Classical Conversations program for her daughter and I am excited to see if she likes it. But for now Duke and I will work on phonics and handwriting and I am reading some amazing books to him. Books I read in my childhood, like E. Nesbit, Roald Dahl, James Harriet, and C.S. Lewis. I am so excited he will now listen to books without pictures. And I am even more thrilled to be introducing him to so many amazing books that made me the avid reader I am today.

I have a Coffee With Amanda and a Coffee With Morgan tutorial coming out this week.  I also will be posting an Urban Grit tutorial and free action and hopefully finally get the new Perfect Portrait action out here.  Plus some more LightRoom and Photoshop tutorials. Oh, if you have had a chance to play with LightRoom 3 I would love to hear what you think about it. And let me know if you think it is worth upgrading from LR2.

And if you are of need of a logo check out my sister Heather's page here. I am trying so hard to get her to guest post here, but with a small baby, a homeschooled 1st grader, working on becoming a Bradley instructor, and renovating a house she doesn't have much spare time. The life of a stay-at-home mom... Maybe next month. :-)

Oh, I am ordering some photographic goodies from ColorIncPro and will be posting all about them hopefully next week. Check out their ad on top of my blog, they have a great coupon code for 50% off your first order and 20% off your next ten. Plus they don't charge shipping if you have a minimum order AND you can get five free 5x7 test prints to make sure your monitor is calibrated. I am really proud to have them as a sponser and would love for you to check them out. They have amazing customer service.

And thanks for visiting my blog and also for your donations, kind comments, and editing excitement.  You make this blog possible.


  1. Good for you on the homeschooling! Don't let anyone discourage you. Surround yourself with the encouraging. It was THE best decision we made for our kids. SOOO many incredible benefits!!! We get "looks" and attitudes, too, but I am so incredibly thankful and happy with how well it is going, I don't let it bother me much. Blessings on your endeavors!

  2. Ha! I know the look. Just imagine back in the day...twenty years ago. We not only got the look but it was quickly followed. " What is that?" and "Is that legal?" After which they would porced to quiz my son who became very good at "the stare". The one that says "Are you nuts?" lol. The Well-Trained Mind is a great resource just don;t torture yourself thinking you have to do everything in there. It's pretty ambitious. Boys (I did 4) thrive on hands on. Have fun!

  3. I have such admiration for any mother who homeschools her children! I would LOVE to do the same and am still on the fence about it. I have twin boys who are 3 and if I don't go back to work I would like to homeschool them. Also thanks for all the great resources you've listed!

  4. I'm loving your ongoing story of the mother hens. Keep the updates coming ... unless there is another tragedy.

  5. We had the same coffee maker and loved it but after only 6 months it quit brewing and nothing we tried could get it going again. We called Cuisinart and their warranty returns are a pain. We purchased the machine from Costco (and we live in CA where warranty claims can be returned to the store where purchased) so we returned it. I did a lot of research on the Net and wound up with another Cuisinart - the DCC 1200 with the glass carafe makes equally good coffee. Fortunately we already have a good coffee grinder - it just makes for an separate step. From what I have read it appears that coffee makers of all brands have problems so we decided we'd rather have good coffee for however long it lasts. I hope yours lasts for years and years but if it doesn't just know there are equally good machines out there.