2012 Word of the Year : Steadfast


I don’t get caught in the trap of New Year’s Resolutions, which are usually doomed to fail.

I choose a word, phrase, character quality, song, or idea to meditate on, practice, engage, and dialogue with throughout the year.




What it is :

Resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering
steady – firm – stable – constant – staunch – immovable
1. Fixed or unchanging; steady. Focussed.
2. Firmly loyal or constant; unswerving.

> steadfastness-brings-character-and-is-a-sign-of-maturity


Bible Verses :




What it is not :

Changing my mind

People pleasing (includes my children)


What it looks like in practice:

In a relationship : You are committed and dedicated to each other: your love is strong and it sustains your relationship through whatever life throws your way.

Learning to listen to God’s word

~ not needing to defend my parental position with my young teens

~ not feeling like I have to act/think in a particular way to gain someone else’s approval

– being aware of God’s always-love of me (makes me want to shout!!)

– knowing and knowing that my husband is on my side – yeah!

No-Mess Potted Plants in your Garden

Now for something different from me …

Potted plants can be a quick way to colour your world.  But can be time-consuming and messy.

This idea I saw a glimpse of in a gardening show on television – and can’t find a trace of it online.

A cheat for a non-gardener or a time-conscious gardener …

You buy your plants in pots – perennials or annuals, no matter.

In your garden, sink the ubiquitous empty plant pots (of same or slightly bigger size as those you buy) to lip level in your garden, then place your current outside pot plants in to these pots.

Next year, just lift the old pot plants out and put in the new – with no fuss, no mess!

How easy is that. Now all I need are some photos to illustrate this.

[Feb 2013 – found this] :herbs in pots in garden


Christmas, Gifts, and Timing

We celebrate Christmas – the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby born in a Bethlehem manger. We put up the Nativity scene, bit by bit. Baby Jesus doesn’t appear until the 25th December  The poor Kings languish on the cabinet for December, until, finally, they can be put on the mantelpiece Nativity set early January. Santa doesn’t even get a look-in in our home.

Saint Nicklaus, the priest from Myrna in Turkey, is talked about 5 December – for his generosity and compassion for poorer people. One year we handmade little gifts with a little written card or letter (with a blessing) and secretly hid them in the other’s shoe, without them seeing the gift being delivered. We had to restrict the children from going in their own wardrobes between 7pm and 7am! Early December we also have fun decorating the Christmas Tree – chatting about who gave the decorations and when.

Christmas Day is a problem for me though. I cringe when the wider family is opening presents together – papers are ripped off, gift looked at, then next present grabbed. Ugh! But I have teased my kids, now young teens, that maybe this year we won’t open gifts till the 6th of January. After all, isn’t the story of the Wise Men bearing gifts where we got the idea from.  It would free Christmas Day, a holy day, from desecration by greed and the “gimmees”. We can then contemplate a Baby born who bought hope, goodwill, and ultimately salvation to our world – for everyone. Jesus is God’s Royal Gift for us.

Back in Jesus’ Day, the Magi from the East brought gifts fit for a King. This is celebrated 12 days after Christmas (Epiphany). These are the real 12 days of Christmas – not before the 25th. Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. In following this older custom of counting the days beginning at sundown, the evening of January 5th is the Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King’s Cake (maybe a twisted iced bread/brioche ring or pastry fruit-filled galette). It is cut into pieces for those present, plus one for the poor or “the share of God”. One or two things hidden in the cake will indicate who is King (and Queen) for the day.

December and January in New Zealand is summertime. No-one is home between Christmas and New Year. We’re probably all at the Beach: from where I live, that is 30 minutes west, or 70 minutes east, or  less than 2 hours north any number of beaches. Life is already exciting and busy, doing outdoorsey things.

Delayed gratification and the anticipation is good for the soul! Maybe gift-giving on January 6th isn’t such a bad idea.

Anyway, wasn’t Jesus really born late September-October?

National Association of School Lunches Takes Aim at Those Who Dare to Eat at Home

by Valorie Delp

The National Association of School Lunches today, in a bold public statement, expressed their concern over untrained mothers serving lunch to their children. Says one source, “The problem is wide spread. We have mothers, who are untrained in how to serve lunches, feeding their children, in their homes. Something simply has to be done.”

The National Association of School Lunches warns parents of the possible ramifications of feeding their children at home: Children will be deprived of the social experience of eating in the cafeteria. Some important social rites of passage, such as food fights, will be completely skipped.

Students who eat at home may not get to learn how others students in other parts of the world eat. Exposure to chopsticks or eating on the floor will be completely diminished.

Students who eat at home may not get the full range of foods that are available only through the school cafeteria.

There is no quantifiable way to measure the nutritional standard of the food being served. Surely parents need to be told what foods their children must eat. Lunch eating is serious–moms could never figure this out on their own.

But the biggest argument put forth by the National Association of School Lunches is that mothers are untrained in serving lunches. They strongly feel that in order to serve school lunches, one must have taken important courses and be certified in things like serving techniques, placing the food properly on the tray, anti food-fight tactical manoeuvres and how to dollop mush. Although mothers serve their children lunches every day from birth until that child enters school, once the child is school-aged, the parent must be trained or their lack of training could be a detriment. Previous experience counts for nothing in the hard core, fast paced world of school lunch serving.

Another key concern are health and safety standards that are required by law in school cafeterias. Although I cannot explain how the phenomenon might occur, apparently home is clean enough for breakfast and dinner but during the lunch hour, homes everywhere must be attacked by germs and bacteria thus necessitating state produced standards for cleanliness for the lunch hour.

Finally, school lunch personnel everywhere are concerned about accountability. Should children have to prove that they’re getting adequate nutrition or perhaps should mothers have to submit meal plans for the year to be approved by the state department of school lunches to check and make sure that the food that’s going to be served meets nutritional standards.

Come back later as I have a feeling that there might be more from the National Association of School Lunches.



Follow Me on Pinterest  Your Other Mother – a wide range of support for mothers of all aged children


Follow Me on Pinterest  BankWhitt – homeschool, faith, design, quotes, organisation, places

Join the inspiration!

More Time Now I’m Off Facebook?

So, I’ve just deleted the Bookmark button to Facebook and will try to stay away from there until December 1.

I hope I do better than the Milk-Free Week I tried a few weeks ago. In that case, I did become more mindful of the huge number of things I eat with milk products in them! I failed more than once but did not give up trying until the week was out.

I have Pinterest (less time-consuming and it raises my spirit with beauty and creativity) and a couple of WordPress accounts – it’s not like I’m going cold turkey off the internet.

Here’s some videos that helped to bring about this change:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmre4SeWunk&feature=related  – Close your Facebook account


http://youtu.be/ZGEQmFL9McU ~ Truth Never Told – interesting 13 minute commentary * * *

As with all addictions, I need to consciously plan to change habits and to use time more constructively.

What comes to my mind?

  • play board games with my children more than one night a week,
  • read more,
  • meditate on God’s Word (Bible),
  • chat with my husband before 10 pm,
  • deep clean my room,
  • socialise with friends,
  • type up recipes and update recipe book.

… got any other ideas?

Apologia Biology – 2ed

353px-Monarch_Butterfly_Cocoon_6708This should get me going for Apologia Biology 2013.
These resources I found when planning for next year. (NZ school year is Feb-early Dec]

http://www.apologiaonline.com/bookextras/ – password on page 5 of book


Apologia “exploring Creation With Biology” 2nd Edition – Lapbook Journal





http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/apologia-biology/ * *


http://appliejuice.wordpress.com/apologia-biology/module-quizzes/ – write for password



Reviews : http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Creation-Biology-Jay-Wile/dp/1932012540

http://www.hybridmedicalanimation.com/work/animation/ – animations of bacteria etc



Module 1 –

Module 1:  The Study of Life – AJ



Videos, etc. for M1 – videos included

Module 1 – Biology: The Study of Life – Q

http://www.thedaisyhead.com/2012/11/biology-lab-reports-what-is-typical/ – lab reports


Module 2 – 

Module 2:  Kingoom Monera – AJ

http://voicethread.com/?#q.b191224.i1012988 – simple/clear video (Tammy Moore)




Videos, etc. for M2

Module 2 – Kingdom Monera – Q



Module 3

Module 3:  Kingdom Protista – AJ

http://voicethread.com/?#q+apologia+biology.b207231.i1088208 – algae (Tammy Moore)



Videos, etc. for M3, Part A – subkingdom Protozoa
Videos, etc. for M3, Part B – subkingdom Algae

Module 3 – Kingdom Protista – Q



Module 4

Kingdom Fungi – AJ




Videos, etc. for M4, Part A (introduction)
Videos, etc. for M4, Part B – 3 of the 6 Phyla in kingdom Fungi
Videos, etc. for M4, Part C – the last 3 of the 6 Phyla in kingdom Fungi

Module 4 – Kingdom Fungi – Q


Module 5

The Chemistry of Life – AJ




Videos, etc. for M5, Part A
Videos, etc. for M5, Part B

Module 5 – The Chemistry of Life = Q




Module 6

Module 6 – The Cell



Videos, etc. for M6


Module 6 – The Cell



Module 7



Videos, etc. for M7

Module 7 – Cellular Reproduction and DNA



Module 8 – Mendelian Genetics


Videos, etc. for M8

Module 8 – Mendelian Genetics



Module 9 – Evolution


Videos, etc. for M9

Module 9 – Evolution:  Part Scientific Theory, Part Unconfirmed Hypothesis



Module 10

Module 10 – Ecology


Videos, etc, for M10

Module 10 – Ecology


The Famous Frog Cakes


Module 11– Invertebrates


Videos, etc, for M11

Module 11 – The Invertebrates of Kingdom Animalia



Module 12

Module 12 – Phylum Arthropoda



Videos, etc, for M12

Module 12 – Phylum Arthropoda



Module 13

Module 13 – Phylum Chordata


Videos, etc, for M13

Module 13 – Phylum Chordata




Module 14

Module 14 – Kingdom Plantae


http://homeschoolersresources.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/biology-module-14-kingdom-plantae.html – videos included

Module 14 – Kingdom Plantae:  Anatomy and Classification



Module 15

Module 15 – Kingdom Plantae


Videos, etc. for M15– videos included

Module 15 – Kingdom Plantae: Physiology and Reproduction



Module 16

Module 16 – Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals


Videos, etc. for M16

Module 16 – Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals



biology slides:
§  Ascaris mitosis, section

§  Allium (onion) root tip, l.s.

§  Amoeba proteus, w.m.

§  Diatoms (marine). w.m.

§  Euglena, w.m.

§  Ficus (dicot) leaf with vein, c.s.

§  Grantia (sponge) spicules, w.m.

§  Hydra (budding), w.m.

§  Paramecium, w.m.

§  Planaria (injected), w.m.

§  Ranunculus (dicot) stem, c.s.

§  Ranunculus (dicot) root, c.s.

§  Spirogyra, w.m.

§  Volvox, w.m.

§  Zea Mays (monocot) stem, c.s.

§  Zea Mays (monocot) root, c.s.

W.m. = whole mount
C.s. = cross section
Sec. = section

Non-Apologia material


https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=biology+classification&hl=en&rlz=1C1CHMD_en-gbNZ473NZ473&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=3ROTUODJGrGWiQfm64DoCw&ved=0CCwQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=629&sei=4xOTUJrEJY6aiQeIw4AQ – biology classification (google images)