May 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm (Uncategorized)

I got the official word today from Eric at HSB that the organizational changes I made to my blog using HTML coding will not be returning.  I thought that was going to be the answer, but I was still hoping I was wrong.  :^(  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Eric and the time he took to understand the question I was asking.  I know I made it tricky since I had gone “outside the box” as usual and used my own HTML coding.

To try to cheer myself up I bought a new domain name!


I have the new address set to transfer here when someone types it in now.  So the good news is when you want to tell your friends how to get to my blog you can tell them to go to justcallmejamin.com! :^)

Prayers for my peace of mind as I process all this would be appreciated!

Happy Homeschooling,


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Testing – Testing

May 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm (Uncategorized)


I sent out an email over the weekend to let my subscribers know about the problems I have been having since the HSB updates. I got hundreds of responses that they were all praying! Then today I finally had time to click around the templates and get creative AND I found a temporary fix for my blog! I found a template that allows me to set up something called “PAGES” in those “PAGES” I was able to post a link to my old manual categories that I had set up. So if you visit my blog you will now find:

* Who Is Jamin?
* Homeschool Helps
* Why Homeschooling?
* Outside the Box Ideas
* Crafty Things
* Fabulous Field Trips
* New To Homeschooling??
* All My American Girl Posts
* All My Preschool Posts
* All My Little House Posts
* All My Boys Book Club Posts
* All My Mad Science Posts
* Our Lapbooks
* Tributes
* Subscribe To Jamin’s Blog

They are not as nice and fancy as they were before AND you will have to click two places to get to them. But they are accessible again! YAY!!!!

It’s been an exhausting weekend, but I am heading to bed feeling a little less sad than I have been for the last week. I am still not sure what I am doing in the future regarding my blog. There is MUCH work to be done before all is back to “normal” for my blog. The end of the school year is a super busy time for us and I just don’t have time to really deal with all this. But, at least I can find things now when I need too. I am thinking about setting up another blog that mirrors this one but is owned by me. Then I will have a copy that can’t be changed unless I decide to do it. Of course I have NO CLUE how to do any of that! LOL So only time will tell.

ALSO I am testing to see if Feedburner will now send out my posts.

I am hoping my subscribers are reading this via email!

Thanks for all those prayers subscribers!

Happy Homeschooling,


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The Bionic Blog!

May 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Breathing in, breathing out…..Trying not to FREAK!!!!

Okay, in case you don’t know homeschoolblogger.com is in the process of making some BIG changes! I signed on today to find that ALL my organizational efforts I have put in over nearly 5 years are GONE. I keep thinking of the Six Million Dollar Man…

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.

But, can I rebuild my blog? I don’t know. I do know that I probably put too many of my organizational eggs in my homeschoolblogger basket. I have used my blog to organize everything! From meal planning to notes to someday scrapbook, I had it all in one place. And now I can’t find any of it! For now I am just going to take a break and have a good cry. I need to let them finish whatever it is that they need to do. I can’t assess how much damage has been done until it’s done.

It’s been a rough day! I am trying to keep it all in perspective. I just keep thinking…Is it God or the devil that is saying it’s time to stop blogging? I need to spend time in prayer about whatever my next step is.

I will let you know…eventually….

Happy Homeschooling,


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Chicken Curry In A Hurry

May 11, 2010 at 7:42 am (Uncategorized)

Last night I tried a new recipe for dinner and it was AWESOME!  As a matter of fact it got a 100% approval rate from the family!  This is rare, usually there is at least one dissenter to whatever I cook. 

Here is the recipe:


We did all decide that we would like the sauce part to be doubled next time.  I also put in more curry powder than the recipe calls for since my kids are use to eating curry and we like it spicy!  So here is "my" recipe as opposed to the one on the website.

Chicken Curry In A Hurry

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 5 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in  large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring for 7 minutes.  Sprinkle with the curry powder and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the yogurt and cream.  Simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper and add tomatoes.
  3. Slice or shredded the chicken.  Discard the bones and skin. Add the chicken to the sauce mixture and cook 4 more minutes to heat chicken through. 
  4. Serve over Basmati rice and top with cilantro.

Next time I hope to make this with the Rice Pilav that my mil use to make.
Happy Homeschooling,


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Abraham or Abraham Lincoln?

May 10, 2010 at 8:54 am (Uncategorized)

My 2 littles were in a play yesterday at church.  The play was all about God’s promises and at the end each of the kids was suppose to say the name of a person in the Bible and the promise God gave them. My 6 year old’s line was "Abraham – I will bless you and make you a great nation." Saturday night right before bed my little man is practicing his lines one last time with me and he says…"Abraham Lincoln – I will bless you and make you a great nation…Aaaachhhoooo!"


At first I just laughed and told him not to be be so silly!  But the more I thought about it the more I became amazed at how smart he is! It occurred to me that he probably had no idea who Abraham was in the Bible. However he knows A LOT about Abraham Lincoln, especially that he helped to make "this" a great nation. (A year ago right now we were in Washington D.C. and he learned a LOT about Lincoln!) And when does he hear "bless you?" When he sneezes! I occurred to me that he probably wasn’t doing it to be funny. He was just trying to make sense of what he was told to say.

After he finished practicing the rest of his lines I asked him if he knew who Abraham was?  He told me he thought it was Abraham Lincoln.  So I explained to him about Abraham in the Bible and we also talked about what it means to be blessed by God.

In the end it was all very funny and interesting. It also reminded me how important it is to discuss with the kids what they are learning.  One of the things I love about using a literature based curriculum (Sonlight) is that we stop a lot while we are reading and I ask the kids questions about the stories.  It is really interesting to see how they use the knowledge they already have to "fill in the blanks" of what they don’t know.  Do they get it 100% right every time?  No.  But, that is why we are taking the time to discuss things.  After I see what they think they know I can give them the information they need to make the right connections.  Plus it’s really interesting to see how they put things together.

Tomorrow I will hopefully post a few of the pics from the play.  It’s was awesome!  (I must admit I was a little nervous about my 6 year old being given a microphone and put on stage in front of the whole church!  LOL)  But, it turned out great!  Both of my littles (and all the kids!) did an awesome job! I just need to find the time to upload the pics and resize them all.

Happy Homeschooling,


P.S. Here is one pic that a friend took and sent me.  Don’t they all look SO cute!

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The Vegetable Garden

May 6, 2010 at 8:39 am (Uncategorized)

I keep waiting for the veggie garden to be "finished" so I can post pics of it.  I realized last night that this is probably going to be a constant "work in progress", so here is what we have so far!

In the raised beds we in the front we have beans, squash, carrots, onions, peas, watermelons and probably other things I am forgetting.  The "tomato towers" have tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and herbs.  The raised bed (in progress) against the fence goes almost all the way to the back fence.  It will house 15 tomato plants, zucchini, pumpkins, etc, etc. etc.  There are also topsy turvy’s on the patio with strawberries and I think more peppers.

We are to the point now where every time we leave the house we come home with more seeds! 

It goes like this:

Husband:  "Oh look, cucumbers!"
Me:  "We don’t really use many cucumbers.  I don’t think we need to plant them."
Husband: "Okay, I will just plant 2 then." 


For those of you who sent me sweet messages about how I amazing it is that I garden with the children…I have a confession.  My contribution to the garden mostly consists of me pointing and giving my opinion about things.  My husband and the kids do ALL the work.  I will also be there for the harvest!  (Oh, I did buy and place those nifty little red, white and blue pin wheels!)

It’s been a lot of fun to watch though!  90% of what they have planted has been started from seeds.  So the littles are getting a lot of pleasure out of experiencing the miracle of growing their own food.

Happy Homeschooling,


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National Day of Prayer

May 6, 2010 at 8:12 am (Uncategorized)

“…pray for kings and all who are in authority, in
order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life
in all godliness and dignity.”
–1Timothy 2:1,2

Today is the National Day of Prayer. Our church has committed to praying for our country for 12 hours straight.  I will be praying from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. today.  The following is information sent out in a prayer guide to be used by those praying.

Please join me in praying for the leadership of our country today.

President: Barack Obama
First Lady: Michelle Obama
Vice President: Joseph R. Biden
Chief of Staff: Rahm I. Emanuel
Sec. of State: Hillary R. Clinton
Sec. of Treasury: Timothy F. Geithner
Sec. of Defense: Robert M. Gates
Attorney General: Erick H. Holder, Jr.
Sec. of Homeland Security: Janet A. Napolitano
Sec. of Interior: Kenneth L. Salazar
Sec. of Agriculture: Thomas J. Vilsack
Sec. of Commerce: Gary F. Locke
Sec. of Labor: Hilda L. Solis
Sec. of Health: Kathleen Sebelius
Sec. of HUD: Shaun L.S. Donovan
Sec. of Transportation: Raymond L. LaHood
Sec. of Energy: Steven Chu
Sec. of Education: Arne Duncan
Sec. of Management: Peter R. Orszag
Sec. Environmental Protection: Lisa P. Jackson
Sec. of Veterans Affairs: Eric K. Shinseki
Ambassador to UN: Susan Rice
All Branches of the Armed Forces
U.S. Supreme Court ~ All Judges


Seek wisdom from the Word of God Rom 15:4
Honor God Prov 3:6
Be obedient to God’s commandments Mat 28:20
Have teachable spirits Psa 2:10,11
Endeavor to restore families Psa 127
Encourage morality in our nation Isa 35:4
Show compassion to the poor Prov 29:14
Be kept from evil Jn 17:15
Be faithful Psa 101:6
Be people of prayer Lk 11:2-4
Be humble; lead in healing our land 2 Ch 7:14

Government – Pray that the Lord would grant wisdom,
discernment and boldness to those who serve in authority
over us, from city council members to the President. Also
lift up appointed officials such as judges, cabinet members
and agency heads, as well as the men and women in our
Education – Pray that your schools will get “back to
basics” when it comes to educating our children, instilling
the leaders of tomorrow with a respect for the Judeo-
Christian values upon which our nation was founded.
Family – Pray daily, not only for the institution of the
family as a whole, but for individual families within your
circle of influence that may be struggling.
Church – Pray for your churches and their leaders while
asking God to grant us wisdom and vision to make the
church a vessel for healing and revival in America.
Military – Pray for divine provision and protection for all
military personnel and their families. Pray for their courage
and dependence on God and perseverance to endure
hardship. Pray for Chaplains to deliver God’s strength
and Word.
Business & Economy – Pray for integrity among
Christian workers and business owners to serve with
humility, compassion and grace. Pray for God’s protection
and support for job security and growth.
Media – Pray for journalists to be fair and accurate and
for entertainers to conduct themselves in a responsible

The Lord is good, a stronghold in time of trouble.
He knows who trusts in him. Nahum 1:7

Happy Homeschooling and God Bless America,


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Renaissance Fair 2010

May 5, 2010 at 8:10 am (Uncategorized)

It’s that time of year again!  Time to dress up my squad of geeks and travel back in time….

The littles ready for some geeky fun!

The littles with the King, Queen and Bishop of the Fair.

My oldest son was quickly dubbed "Lord Brown" by all the people in character at the fair. 
He has outgrown his renaissance costume so he THOUGHT he wasn’t dressed up! It never occurred to us what a crossover there would be between renaissance fair geeks and comic book geeks!  LOL Everywhere we traveled we heard "Good Day Lord Brown.", "Lord Brown wherest is thou dog Snoopy?", etc.  LOL  My son said "Truly I am amongst my people here!" hehehe

This was a weapons demonstration.

Yep, he took down an empty Knight suit with a wooden sword!  ;^)

Little King of the Castle!

The Bird of Prey show is always a family favorite!

Seeing an Eagle up close was pretty cool!

My favorite demo of the day was seeing glass being blown.  This guys was VERY good and gave all kinds of info on how glass in blown and the history of the trade. We have been to A LOT of Renaissance Fairs and this is the first time I remember seeing glass being blown.

My family can now say that we have been to Renaissance Fair’s in 3 States! Wow, I am thinking our geekiness factor just went through the roof!  LOL

Happy Homeschooling,


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American Girl Club – Samantha – Take 2

May 4, 2010 at 8:39 am (Uncategorized)

Okay,  so waaaaayyy back last year when we started American Girl Club we started with Samantha (1904).  After we finished with Samantha we decided to go through all the books in chronological order and work our way through them all.  So that is what we have been doing, and we have made our way back to Samantha!   To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to teaching Samantha again.  We had done 10 weeks on Samantha and that was pretty much all the ideas I had!  Thankfully one of the other mom’s offered to teach our 3 weeks of Samantha.  (We are just doing 3 weeks for the girls that didn’t start with Samantha and to put Samantha’s time period in chronological order for the girls that have been in it since the beginning.)

So for our craft for the first week of Samantha (Take 2) we decorated frames with sea shells.

Here is my daughter working on her frame.

The girls used markers to decorate the frame under their shells.

After 42 weeks of American Girl Club we had a first this week!  We had an American Dad come to club with his daughter!

For snack we had these yummy jelly cookies!  They were great and also made by one of the dad’s! So I guess it was kind of "dad week" at American Girl Club!  LOL

Happy Homeschooling,


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Date Night

May 3, 2010 at 8:27 am (Uncategorized)

I LOVE it when I get to have a date night with just one of my kids at a time.  Saturday night I got to have a take out youngest son for some mother/son time.  Here are a few great things I learned Saturday night on our date.  :^)

1. My son has an imaginary friend named Bob.  Bob is a skeleton.  I found this very interesting since my oldest son had a imaginary friend named Mike who was also a skeleton.
2. When my son grows up he wants to get married because when you are married you get to have an anniversary, which is kinda like a second birthday! LOL
3. According to my son it’s okay to hold your mom’s hand when you are on a date. It is completely different than when your mom is holding your hand because it’s easier for her to hold your hand than to actually watch you. :^)

Here is my little man after dinner with all the goodies he got from our evening of FUN!
Messy face plus gum in his teeth and all!  LOL

I wish I could do this much more often with each of my kids.  It is always such a treasure to spend one-on-one time with them! 

Happy Homeschooling,


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