Freshwater Academy

Fresh Water Academy was founded in 2010. It is home to four lovely young ladies of learning and their dedicated teachers. Located in the wilds of Wyoming, the name Fresh Water Academy was chosen as a Western analogy to Christ. Just as He is the Living Water, and we must have Him to have eternal life, any desert dweller knows the importance of fresh water to life, both for self, and the nourishment of crops or livestock. By taking nourishment in God and His word, we strengthen our own relationship with Him, our faith, and the quality and abundance of our fruitfulness.

Our keystone verse is from Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 8: "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

The fruit that we speak of is mentioned in Galatians 5:22
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

And the heat could be anything we experience that might test our faith in God; trials and tribulations, relationships, anything that focuses our love and attention anywhere but on Him...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pots de Creme (“Po de Krehm”)

First of all, let me give credit where credit is due.  Today's delicious goodness is brought to us by Ree Drummond, The Food Network's Pioneer Woman, whom you can watch on Saturday mornings!

Pots de Creme

First of all, as PW would call them, the "Cast of Characters".  

Here we have blender, vanilla, eggs, semi-sweet chocolate chips, salt (not pictured), and, a surprise addition, a sandwich baggie full of Oreo cookie crumbs that happened to be hanging out in my freezer!  (Also not pictured, piping hot coffee, as I didn't want it to cool while I was picture taking).

Step One is to pour 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the blender.  You may notice that I have more than one 12 ounce bag, but that's because we have a big family and I made a double batch.  I was worried that one wouldn't be enough for everyone!  I also added half a bag of my Oreo cookie crumbs to this step.


On top of the semi-sweet chocolate, 
you crack in four room temperature eggs 
(very important step, eggs MUST be room temp.  
Set them out for half an hour or so before putting it all together).
Can't forget, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a pinch of salt.  
Turn on the blender and let it start to mix.  And apparently I forgot to take a picture of the coffee...though I did have my hands full with a coffee can lidded blender and a cuppa steamin' Joe.  Yes, while the blender is going, open up the pour lid in the center (that is if you haven't lost your blender lid and are now using a coffee can lid), and steadily pour in a stream of hot, strong coffee.  Blend until everything is well mixed and you no longer hear or see bits or chunks of chocolate.  Blend for a few more seconds, and pour into cups to chill.
Fill the cups about halfway to leave room for the whipped cream later, and chill for a few hours until they mixture is set.  I will show pics of the totally finished served product after supper tonight!
(We're headed to town for Becca's first orthodontic appointment and the kids are going to be home, so I wanted to make sure it was a clear and succinct message!)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Eating Frosted Flakes

Eating Frosted Flakes and thinking of my dad.  Isn't it funny how certain things remind us of certain people?  Grape Tidal Wave Bubble Gum reminds me of summer days at my grandparents farm in Olney Springs, CO, walking down the dusty road with my mom, to the little store in town where she let me buy grape Tidal Wave.  Frosted Flakes remind me of my dad, because they are his favorite cereal.  I remember that we always had them in the house when I was a kid!  As I poured my bowl this morning, I couldn't help but think of my daddy and how I miss my folks.  Which led me to think of other things that connect to family and memories.  When I think of Little Caesar's $5 pizzas, I always think of visiting my grandparents.  When there were  a bunch of us, we always bought a bunch of LC at least one night of the visit!  Biscuits.  My mom makes the most fabulous  biscuits, and you have to have biscuits with stew :).  I am sure there are more, but that's a few for today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One of those Weeks

I am actually making myself sit down and type this today.  I have no interest in writing, I have no interest in blogging, no interest even in posting on CafeMom and facebook...would rather just hang out with my family!  So have a great day, week, or month, and enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Moonlight Madness Cupcakes ala Jenn McKinlay and Sprinkle With Murder!

Last night I made Moonlight Madness Cupcakes from Sprinkle With Murder by Jenn McKinlay.  You might remember Jenn McKinlay and the Cupcake Murders from a previous blog...

And, a recipe that I had previously tried, Cupid's Bliss Cupcakes, from Buttercream Bumpoff. 

I honestly wasn't sure I'd ever make these cupcakes, as coconut is not a real favorite in our family.  In fact, I thought about just buying coconut extract, making it coconut flavored frosting, and skipping the flaked coconut completely.  I even made about half of the cupcakes without the coconut on top, but I think it was a mistake.  I still have problems with the texture of coconut, but they are incomplete without it.

I fact, I don't believe I made any substitutions or changes with this recipe.  I will tell you the only thing we did do, which may or may not be different.  We did not buy a bag of flaked coconut at the store.  We bought a whole coconut, which the girls have been wanting to do for days anyway!  I think that added freshness and a lightness to the flavor that a bag of flaked coconut that has been sitting on the shelf for months wouldn't have.

I'll dedicate some time in my next blog to the coconut ;). 
If you haven't had an opportunity to read her mysteries yet, jump on it, because they are amazing!  I just put her Decoupage Mysteries, written as Lucy Lawrence on hold at my local library, and I requested that they purchase her up and coming )April 2012) 50% off Murder, the first in the Good Buy Girls Mysteries, written as Josie Belle!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Creepy House

All alone (well the only one up anyway) at night, you know that creepy scary movies for me!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New to Homeschooling?

Community Question from The Pioneer Woman's Site this morning:
“My name is Kanecia. I have 4 children (ages 13, 7 and twins who are 4) that I want to homeschool this upcoming year. My question is what are good programs for me to use? I am stressed trying to make this decision. Any information you can share would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first year and I’m afraid I might fail them. Please help.”
Many of us have been in Kanecia’s shoes and many are currently walking her same path. What programs or curriculum would you recommend for her children’s ages? Why? Please offer any specific help or experiential guidance. I’m sure a bit of encouragement wouldn’t hurt either.
There was another mom who had posted before me that has a family of Learning Adventurers.  I was excited to see this, and added a few comments about the different forms of curriculum our family uses.
We also use Learning Adventures.  When we first began homeschooling, we tried to approach it using the exact same materials that some friends of ours were using, and we quickly came to the realization that all families are different and what worked for them would not necessarily work for us! 

What kind of structure would you like to have?  What kind of learners do you have?  What kind of teacher are you?

We also have four at home, all girls, and all of different ages and styles.  The best curriculum for us was an eclectic mix of a Unit Study and some independent materials in other subjects that we wanted to emphasize.

We also looked at Weaver, which I do like, and probably would have tried, but I was frustrated at my inability to get my hands on it to look at and go through to see if it would work for us.  While we were searching, I got a chance to visit with a mom at our State Homeschooling Convention who was using Learning Adventures.  She told me all about it, and how they had decided to go deeper and stretched one year's study into two.  At this point, we are well into our second year and just finishing up Volume One ourselves!   I do build and find supplements to go even deeper into some areas that we find fascinating and want to learn more about, but it does cover everything quite well.  There are lessons in history, geography, culture, language arts, science, fine arts, art, and many other areas.  It has read alouds in every unit, and they are all Newberry winners that can be found at your local library, or on Amazon for just a few dollars. 

We also use Math-U-See as our primary math program.  I like the fact that the girls can work through at their own pace.  It is all hands on, with great instructional DVD's, interesting, and enjoyable for them. 

Prima Latina by Memoria Press rounds out our regular classroom materials, though I do use some online programs like,,, and some printables that I find here and there.  Bottom line is, try to decide what style you think will fit your family, and what your budget is.  And, while you need to give it enough of a chance to see if it will work, don't be afraid to change if something isn't working for your family.  We're looking at adding Apologia next year for science, just because we think our kids need even more, and we love that creation base.  Our high schooler especially is going to need a solid foundation and I want to be able to clearly show course delineation on her transcripts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Using The Dewey Decimal System

Remember those cheesy little filmstrips you had to watch at the library when you were a kid?  The ones with the cassette tape that played along with the film and beeped every time it advanced a frame?  Come on, you know you do! 

I found a great alternative! :)  Checked this DVD out at the library on Friday and had my kids watch yesterday since they have been studying how to find things in the Library, including a look at the DDS.  They thought it was cute and fun, and tomorrow we will test out their application of the knowledge when we head to the library!

I thought it was a fun little informative video, quite lighthearted and easy to follow, detailed, but not bogged down by so much junk that it lost them.  This 23 minute video actually held their attention quite well!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Knock You Naked Brownies

Yep, that's what I said.  Knock You Naked Brownies.  I have heard that phrase so many times this week, after watching our DVR recording of The Pioneer Woman.  Great things they are, and such a catchy name.  My kids are having a hilarious time with the title itself!

We made these on Saturday, and chilled them until serving them on at the Superbowl Party on Sunday!  I did make a few substitutions, some on purpose, and some accidental.  Our son has a nut allergy, so we left out the pecans.  

I was so excited when we went grocery shopping, because cake mix was on sale for 99 cents.  I was going to buy two packages, just in case, but when we got there, they were out of German Chocolate in the 99 cent variety, and my cheap side kicked in.  Since I had to pay $2.19 for the mix, I only bought one!  That turned out to be a mistake, because once we'd mixed it, we had enough for the first layer of the brownies, but not for the second.  While the caramels were melting and the first layer setting, we hurriedly put together our own German Chocolate Cake mix, which led to a slightly fluffier and more cakelike top layer, which I would definitely change if I were to do it again.  They were still really good brownies though!

Superbowl Sunday Supper with Friends and Family

The Youth went to town for a Superbowl Party, so we invited a few people over.  We started with Losse and Wendy, and Colleen, and Willy, and by the time we'd gathered our family in town, we were blessed with a visit from Audrey and Kieran with Nathan in tow, Pierre and Sandi, Little David and Alicia with Zoe, and Anthony.  A nice houseful for us :)!

As my mom says, we do everything...BIG.  We made a variety of recipes, put as much together on Saturday as we could, and prepped the rest Sunday morning so all we had to do after church was throw the wings in the oven to warm, and set out the rest of the food.

Hunks of bread and chips for dipping
Spinach artichoke dip, made by Becca
Spinach Dip created by Aunt Colleen and served in a yummy breadbowl!
Pico de Gallo from Hannah's Hands
Guacamole by Justice
Classic Wings by Paul
Asian Wings by Sonja
Homemade Ranch Dip by Paul
Homemade Bleu Cheese Dip by Sonja
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
BBQ Black Beans
Knock You Naked Brownies (which are so extra special that they have their own post).

The pork sandwiches, we created by slow cooking two shoulder roasts overnight after rubbing them with a variety of herbs, garlic, paprika, sesame oil, and putting a few bouillon cubes into the liquid.  Right before serving we dumped in an entire bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's, and provided warm buns for dishing up.

The majority of the recipes are from The Pioneer Woman!

Broccoli Cheese Soup from The Pioneer Woman

Loved it!  Absolutely loved it.  This soup received rave reviews from my family.  On the show where I watched her make it, she used ham, but I had chicken, and then also added a pound of kielbasa, to fill out the soup and make it a more stick with you meal for the seven of us.  I didn't have any rolls to make bread bowls of, so I served it with big hunks of Everything French Bread, and a nice green salad.

Here's the recipe, and the website for one of the funniest and most entertaining personalities out there on TV and the world wide web today!
Her description says "My name is Ree. I'm a desperate housewife.
I live in the country. I channel Lucille Ball, Vivien Leigh, and Ethel Merman. Welcome to my frontier!"

The soup is wonderful, we enjoyed it very much!  It was a filling meal for our family of 7, and we even had some leftover for lunch today!  It's even good cold, for those of us who are too lazy to properly reheat!

Emotional Television

Yes, I'm a few days behind.  I have had plenty of ideas in my head, just no time to "write" them!  I sat down with the girls and watched Flicka 2 the other day, and it made me cry.  I never wanted to reach through the screen and punch someone so much in my life as the neighbor in that movie!  I know, not a very Christ like thought.  He really needed a lesson in reason and compassion, and his daughter was a flat out jerk, but I don't think hauling them through the screen would have been a very great example to teach them how to treat others!

The really funny thing is, the brat neighbor girl was also in another movie I've seen recently, two of my favorite Christmas movies in fact, and she was the sweetest girl in the world in Christmas in Canaan and Christmas Comes Back to Canaan...guess she's a good actress!

Flicka 2 was a good family movie.  It made us laugh, it made us cry, and it made us live in the moment with the characters.  I don't think you can ask for more than that!  It was kind of strange to see the dad in a movie.  You hear his voice in so many commercials and animated shows, that it is different to see his face!

Last night when I was busy not sleeping (lovely cold with a cough), I also caught up on a few Christmas movies I had saved on the DVR.  There was one called Under the Mistletoe that was especially touching.  I cried most of the way through the movie, some from joy and some from sadness.  It was very heart touching, though maybe a little was cut out of the flow of the plot, it followed pretty well and was a sweet and touching show.