Welcome to Life at the Holman's.

Within this blog, you will find everything from recipes to school ideas to everyday fun stuff and things we have learned along the way. From time to time you will find just a tidbit of our journey here in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Catch of the day!

With the cooler weather, the whole family is spending the evenings out doors catching up for all the times we were heat bound over the last few months.  This evening, the kids decided they wanted to head up to the half of the pond that is left (because of the drought) and go fishing.  Of course, the prospect of digging up worms right now is about impossible so they decided that they would try fishing with hot dogs.  We had a half package of cheesy hot dogs left that they decided to use (the kids did not like the cheesy dogs).  They headed to the pond with the rods, hot dogs, and a bucket of water for all the fish they would catch.  I have to admit...I was not expecting much!

About 20-30 minutes after they left, we hear them screaming, "Come here!  You have to see this."  They yelled and yelled until Jason arrived at the pond (I followed a few minutes later.).  Savannah was beaming with excitement because she caught a huge fish.  It is by far the biggest fish we have pulled out of the pond yet.  We had been told by one of the guys who lived here previously that there were some really big fish in the pond, but we were skeptical.  Not any more!

After the moment of fame, we did decide to allow the fish to continue to grow.  We figured if he made it this far, he deserved to continue his life.  Dad transported the fish back to the pond, and everyone watched him swim away.

The kids fished until dark with JJ catching a fish of his own.  It was too late to clean it for dinner so he decided he is getting up early to go catch some breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemade Butter Pecan Syrup

We recently ate at one of the local restaurants that served butter pecan syrup with our pancakes. Everyone in the family thoroughly enjoyed it so we decided to try and make some syrup of our own.  I searched online for a recipe and here is the one that we tried.  The only thing I changed was that I only boiled the syrup for about 4-5 minutes.  We just didn't want to wait for the full 10 minutes, but it still turned out great and thick enough for out taste.

JJ stopped in the middle to let me take a quick picture!
Here is what is left!

I only made a half recipe which turned out to be just enough (with a little left over) for our family of four.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

1st Quarter Down!...3 more to go!

Yeah!  Our first quarter is winding up and a good long break is here!

This year we decided to change up our family home school yearly calendar and tried a new tactic.  First a little background...This summer turned out to be a dreadfully hot, unbearably long summer.  It was actually too hot to even go swimming.  Oklahoma set a new record for days over 100 degrees...I am not sure exactly how many we ended up with because lost track after we broke the previous record of 50 days form back in 1985.  It was big news on the stations around here.  Every day the news anchors would come up with some way to let us know that is was really hot..."We are one more day closer to breaking that record," " Only ___ more days to go before we break that record for number of days over 100 degrees," etc.  The worst part was that we had absolutely NO RAIN.

I have never experienced a summer like this one.  The fields around our area were bear where there were usually vast amounts of cattle grazing vegetation.  Even the ponds were close to drying up or were dry.  (Fortunately, the 2 ponds in our fields kept enough water to keep the fish alive.)  However, as you travel around the region, you see the toll the hot, dry summer has played on the ponds that are empty and the grounds that are cracked.  Our own yard is practically barren of grass and only has a few remaining weeds that are hanging on the for green look!  We have sunken areas that were not there before and long breaks/cracks that run through our yard.  That HOT, DRY summer is what helped us make the decision to draw up our new home school calendar.

Oklahoma City public schools adopted a new school calendar this year.  They decided to go to the year-long school calendar that would spread the number of school days out throughout the year.  It has less focus on a long summer break and has more extended breaks during the year.

Since the hot summer kept us sort of house bound this year, the kids were bored and that was when we opted to start school on July 18th and begin our quest of the year-long school calendar. Our first quarter which ends Tuesday was from July 18th to September 27th.  It was a straight 9-week quarter with the exception of a Friday and Monday off for Labor Day.  We will now have a little less than 3 weeks off.

The rest of the school year will look like this:

Quarter 2: October 24 to December 23 with one week off for Thanksgiving
Winter Break: December 24 to January 22 (3 week break)
Quarter 3: January 16 to March 16
Spring Break: March 17 to April 15
Quarter 4: April 16 to June 15
Summer Break: June 16 to July 29
Then we will start our school year (2012-2013) after the 6-week summer break on July 30th.

At first, the kids were not crazy about the idea of "losing" their summer break.  We took the time to have a "family discussion" about the positive and negatives of the new calendar.  Once they realized that they would have a long break after only one quarter, they decided that it was as great idea.  They would be able to take their first break when the weather was nicer and camping out was more of an option,

Well...the first break is here. Just a bit more odds and ends to tie up in the first session, and we are done! The weather has finally cooled, and we even had a couple of inches of rain this week. The kiddos are looking forward to setting up the tent in the yard.  Of course, we are still on a "burn-ban" so there are no camp fires allowed which they are a little bummed about. I have to say that I am looking forward to the break, too.  (Maybe even more than the kids!) While I love home schooling, I certainly like the relaxed days of no scheduled expectations.  Just good ol' sweatshirt wearin', coffee drinkin' mornings to laze around before the day really begins.  Look out break....here we come!