Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lazy Housewife

Today I am a sick housewife.  Three out of four kids are down.  The Punk is out of town.  Ugh.  Double Ugh.

There is also a full moon coming.  YAY. (Actually, I ADORE a full makes me feel at peace-probably because I'm batshit crazy every other day of the month.  *winks*)

That's your lazy housewife tip for the week.  Long ago, my life was in CHAOS.  That was when I was still married to my girls bio-dad, and I was pretty unhappy in general and my surroundings reflected my internal chaos.  We separated, and FLYlady helped me regain the control.  My gift to you.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

I am once again struggling.  I try to be really honest here, so as not to paint a picture of perfection.  You should all know that I fall, and get back up again.  I stumble, and trip and have to regain my balance...on a pretty regular basis.

I'm struggling to be who I know I am.  I haven't been exercising.  I haven't been properly fueling my body.  I haven't been taking my vitamins.  I know all of these play into it.

Today-after the holidays are over (ok, so there is new year's...but my family doesn't really do anything to celebrate it'll just be the ONE night of drinking with my "friend family") I am determined to get back on track.  I was hoping to run (because I haven't done it in...far too long) but it's raining.  I don't mind a run in a warm rain, but this cold icky thanks.  Instead, I'll practice my Zumba routines, so I'll get a good hour long workout and burn almost 1000 calories.  That should help undo the 800 calorie breakfast I just ate (a doughnut, 32 oz of soda, and some cheese balls...ugh.)  I'm going to break the bad eating habit.  I gave in this morning because I'm a mood eater and I'm exhausted (three hours of sleep Christmas Eve and not much more than that last night.)  I had to get up super early to drive The Punk to the airport for a trip to see his family, and I gave in to the doughnut and the desire for caffeine.  It's raining, the boys will be locked inside with me all day, and they are both minorly under the weather with colds.  I need the caffeine.  But I should have opted for something better than the doughnut (like the veggie eggwhite sandwich I saw...)

Our vacation was GLORIOUS.  We had 3 days where it was right around 70 and sunny.  The 4th day we visited the aquarium and got to touch horseshoe crabs AND sting rays!  It was GREAT.  We also visited RideMakerz the 4th day and the boys made cars.  It's like Build-A-Bear, only it's hot rods.  It's pretty awesome.  It was an early 6th birthday present for Three.

Christmas Eve was wonderful.  My mom got to have all 8 of her grandchildren present-something that hasn't happened in a few years.  Then Christmas day was almost perfect, my great-niece and great-nephew got to spend some time with us too.  I am feeling very happy and content today.  :)

I hope to get myself back together today.  I hope to get a lot of things accomplished while The Punk is gone for the week (I have more "down" time.)  I plan to get back on this blogger bandwagon too, it's an outlet I need!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Skinny Housewife

I'm happy (no wait:  ecstatic is probably more accurate) to report I finally reached my goal weight!  My goal-which I set eighteen months ago...slow and steady right?-was to be the weight I was at when I got pregnant with Three (6 1/2 years ago!)  A few months ago, I actually stopped caring about the number on the scale.  I was two pounds from goal weight, and holding steady.  However, my body has totally transformed.  I can wear clothes in a size that I NEVER could have worn *at goal weight* before.  So, I decided the number CLEARLY didn't matter.  I did a body fat percentage calculation and (wish I had done that BEFORE, as well as taken measurements BEFORE) realized that I am only 2% from falling into the "fit" category.  That became the new goal.  I want to be FIT, and I wouldn't care about the number anymore-since muscle weighs more than fat, I might not lose anymore actual weight but that I could lose 2% body fat, and really love my new FIT body.  That was apparently bullshit, because when THAT magic number showed up on the scale...I nearly peed my pants.

However, then I began eating really crappy and went an eight day stretch without doing ANY exercise.  UGH.  WTF is wrong with this picture?  It is the hardest time of the year to diet, and well...honestly I SUCK at dieting any time of year, I LOVE food.  Love it.  I have been eating really poorly though, and not only do I feel more sluggish but my skin is currently in horrible shape.  *hangs head in shame*  I am going to start baking projects with my kids today, and we will finish on Saturday....since this is no time for dieting (we're going on vacation next week....the baked goods are intended to go with us, and we'll be eating out more, etc.) I have to really keep on top of the exercise.  I plan to run on vacation...and we'll be playing a LOT so that will be some cardio.  I can NOT lose momentum right here at the finish line.  I will NOT.

I have new goals, having reached goal weight, I still would like to lose more fat.  My body harbors fat right around my middle.  And it is really holding on tight.  Cardio isn't going to cut it alone!  I'm great with cardio, because it's fun-since I only do things I love (Zumba and running.)  I have to do some toning, and core work.  In addition to losing more fat, and hitting that 2% lower goal, I am doing a mud run mid March and I have to have more upper body strength for some of the obstacles.  I've been doing (sporadically) an upper body circuit.  I need to do it more often!  And, I just added this, this week (and dear sweet baby jesus I'm SORE!):

Off to workout, before I start the making of the treats....Today's workout:

The above ab-core-challenge.
Upper Body Strength Circuit
30 minutes of Zumba
30 minute run

It totals to about 90 minutes.  Give or take.  I know not everyone has 90 minutes in their day to exercise.  It's something that has taken me awhile to make a real priority (and then, it's been slipping the last couple weeks...I need to grab on and hold again!)  However,  don't be discouraged.  Take 8 minutes and do the upper body stuff (with the one minute cardio in between sets!)  Take 15 minutes and do the ab-core challenge.  Take 30 minutes and just DANCE!  Something IS better than nothing.  Always.

*Addition* Soooo, I came back to edit because I decided it's been awhile since I did all the measuring and calculated body fat.  I did that this morning, and LOW and behold, I have actually lost enough inches now to fall into the FIT category I was shooting for.  In fact, I'm 4% away from being in the "athlete" category.  New goal:  BE an athlete.  Before I turn 37.  :)


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

In an effort to have the best Christmas eVAH, I've pinned a ton of things to my "homemade Christmas" board on Pinterest.  And, now we're 4 days in and I've done almost NOTHING Christmas related.  I mean, we put up the tree, the kids got a new ornament on December 1 (a tradition for us,)  the weather was nice yesterday and The Punk got the outside decorations put up.  But we haven't done anything beyond decorating.

I'd like to have a project for every day until Santa arrives (which for us will happen on the 18th--if we know you in real life, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT mention anything about this to my kids, or myself at any event where my children are present!)  Then I'll need a couple more projects to get us through until we celebrate with our family.  In order for this to be the best Christmas eVAH, I need to get my rear in gear.  My boys are both resting today and I issued a mandate to my girls about REALLY NEEDING THEM TO GET THEIR WORK CAUGHT UP BEEEEFOOOOOREEEEE Xmas break (which officially starts the 17th, BUT...we are planning a surprise birthday party for Two that weekend, sooo they REALLY need to be done by the 15th...again, no mention of the party--I'm really trusting you people) so while I have a little bit I'm typing this...and then I'm going to get to work on the countdown calendar.  I'll have to put blank pieces in the calendar for the days after Santa arrives, just to throw them off.

Our elf (on the shelf) has gone missing...I'm forlorn  but thankfully the boys seem to have forgotten about him (or given up hope since they did ask for the first few days after the tree was up-which is usually when he arrives.)  I "put him away" REALLY well last year.  Clearly.

The links I posted yesterday are where I'm pulling many of my countdown ideas from.  I want experiences not things--Our Santa gift is a trip, since none of us need more STUFF.  The only "gift" on the list will probably be a new Xmas book, but again, that's a yearly tradition for us, we have 20 xmas books currently. I take that back, there will probably be the gift of a new Xmas movie as well.  Many of our Xmas movies were on VHS.  Our VCR died this year, and I won't be replacing it since we already own a DVD player, a Wii, and a Blu-Ray player.  There will probably be the replacement of a classic Xmas movie.

I got a "date" with The Punk Wednesday night.  We hit Target and got a new movie and book for the kids to unwrap.  I also bought a lot of baking supplies and stocking stuffers.  I'm SO happy to report that as of December 6, 2012 I am 90% done with Xmas shopping.  I have to buy new PJ's for the kids, and one more present each for One and Two, AND my nephews, and niece and something more for The Bestie, and her kiddo's.  THEN--I'm all done.  Phew.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Two for Tuesday

A site I just found today:  Preschool and Kindergarten Worksheets  Three and Four both did worksheets from here this morning.

Christmas Countdown activities:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Steroid Addition

Since I've been so neglectful lately,  I am going to give you more than the normal two for Tuesday.

Skip Counting Paper Bag Book:  I'm super excited to try this with Three.  He just doesn't "get" skip counting, I'm broadening my efforts.

Cut and Paste Word Sampler  This is a link to Teachers Pay Teachers, which is a GREAT website IMO.  This is a freebie...joining is free, and there are lots of great printable packs for free, or small amounts and as a bonus the materials are teacher created.

Homeschool Binder

Bird Feeders  Adorable idea.

My Christmas Board on Pinterest

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday

This week has been demolished by sickness.

Monday was normal.  Monday night/Tuesday morning, Four woke up coughing and snotty.  It was a rough night, and it progressively got worse as the day went on.  Around 5pm, he was wheezing badly enough that he asked for "his machine."  (Nebulizer.)  Over the next 12 hours,  he had 6 breathing treatments and was STILL having a really difficult time.  We had anticipated going to the zoo on Wednesday with our homeschool group, but after such a rough night (honestly, I climbed into bed at around 7am) we nixed that plan.  The day was lost to breathing treatments and naps.

What a difference 24 hours makes!  Thursday morning, Four woke up feeling much, much better and immediately asked to go to the zoo.  So, we went with that.  We loaded up and went to the zoo.  It was a great day, lovely weather, and very active animals.  YAY!

This morning, I woke up with the beginnings of a cold (I'm guessing it is what Four has, only stuff always settles in his chest right away...) I'm vitamin C'ing and Zinc'ing away my day.  I've also spent most of it in bed.  The Punk let me sleep until 9:30, and then he took Three to Kindergarten Co-Op this afternoon so I could chill in bed with Four.  He brought home flowers, and dinner, and has now taken the boys up the street to play so I'm still in bed.  My life is so awesome.

We have a busy weekend, so I really hope all the meds I'm taking work and I feel better in the morning.  I have to finish up Four's costume, and re-do their candy collection buckets.  There are also pumpkins to buy for an annual pumpkin carving party.  Cold, cold, go away!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sideways Saturday

Today, I had the day off.  WAHOO for my husband being home!

I've spent almost the entire day in bed.  One thing I did accomplish?  I made a running playlist for the days I run alone.  Most days I run with a partner, and we chit chat.  Once or twice a week though, I run alone.  Now, I scoured google, and Pinterest.  I looked at what they had to offer, and it occurs to me that playlists are very personal.  It's about what motivates YOU, what gets YOU moving, what gets YOUR blood pumping.  Reading other people's lists did get my wheels turning.

I opened the music on my phone (which is my constant running partner, as I use the C25K app to train.)  I created a new playlist called "Runnin' Dirty,"  which is appropriate considering it is my team's name for the mud run I'm doing in March.  *big smile*  I scrolled slowly through my music, and I added all the things I know will work for me.  Then I downloaded the things that other people's playlists had put into my head.  Here is my list, as of now, it will change, I'm sure.  But for now, this is it!

Caught Up-Usher
Follow Me-Uncle Kracker
Hey Hey-Superchick
Work Out-J Cole
Your Love Is My Drug-Ke$ha (but really, anything by her would work, this is just prob my fav)
Like It's Her Birthday-Good Charlotte
One More Night-Maroon 5
Not Afraid-Eminem
One More-Superchick
Out of My Head-Lupe Fiasco
Birthday Cake Dance Remix-Rihanna
We R Who We R-Ke$ha
Whistle-Flo Rida
Yeah-Usher, Lil' John and Ludacris
Raise Your Glass-P!nk
Candy Shop-50 Cent
Gold Digger-Kanye West
Finally Found You-Enrique Iglesias
Fastest Girl In Town-Miranda Lambert
Til the World Ends-Britney Spears
Kerosene-Miranda Lambert
Settle Down-No Doubt
Sweet Escape-No Doubt
Everybody Talks-Neon Trees
Undo It-Carrie Underwood

It's so's perfect!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Skinny Housewife

Orange Chicken Stir Fry-this turned out SO good.  Super yummy, lean chicken lots of veggies.  MMMM.  Changes I made-because I rarely make a recipe exactly as it states:

I didn't have oyster sauce, so I left that out.  I didn't have cornstarch (because I used it all in a crafty project for the kids...and keep forgetting to replace it) so I used flour.  I had half a red bell pepper left over in the fridge, so I chopped it and threw it in.  I didn't have oranges, because my kids never eat straight oranges (they love mandarin ones though!) but I did have lemons, so I threw in the zest of one lemon.  I didn't have minced ginger, I used dried.  It was still really good.  :)

And, I'm sharing a snack suggestions list:  26 Low Calorie Snacks to Keep you Looking Slim

Get your skinny on.  ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

Today's post has nothing to do with homeschooling, or children.  It has to do with me.  Just me.  Not mommy.  Not wifey.  Just Shauna.

Two years ago I stumbled upon a list on someone's blog.  It was entitled 101 Things in 1001 Days.  I googled, and found that it's an actual thing:  Day Zero Project

I began about making my list.  I'm 250 days away from the completion of my project.  For the record, my list still isn't even up to 101 things, so I need to add some silly little things.  I mostly concentrated on BIG things I wanted to tackle (like putting my feet in TWO oceans, and traveling to another country) in the beginning.  Then I added things that would push me out of my comfort zone (like wearing a skirt or dress OUT five different times, and eating at 10 new restaurants.)  I'm only up to 79 goals.  I've completed only 17 things from my list.  I have until my 37th birthday to complete my goal.  I really want to make it.

This project is about expanding myself.  Big and small.  When I complete this 101 things, I intend to make a new list because I like the idea of always having things to accomplish and push myself towards.

I encourage you to do something like this.  Maybe it's not 101 things, maybe it's 10.  Maybe it's not 1001 days, maybe it's 100.  Maybe it's 1 thing, in the next 10 days!  Whatever it is, set some goals for YOU.

You.  Not your children.  Not your husband.  YOU.  You do remember YOU, right?  Sometimes as moms we lose ourselves to our children, and our marriage, and the business of our days.  Find you again.  I promise, you will not regret it.  Making yourself a priority is not something that should make you feel guilty.  It will make you a better YOU, and THAT is beneficial to your children.

Do you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two for Tuesday

Halloween Fun with Five Little Pumpkins

And, if you're kids are asking every day about Halloween, you can make this cute countdown craft with them (we did this over the weekend.)

We're counting down to Halloween!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Manic Monday

Today consisted of normal Monday things.  Zumba for me (I so love, LOVE it love it!) Pottery class for my girls, then we had lunch with The Bestie and her crew, along with The Boo Boo.  It was bearable.  There was some discussion about some uncomfortable mess going on between my kids, The Bestie's kids and another good friends kids during pottery class.  Sigh.  I kids aren't in "real" school shouldn't we be immune to this sort of thing??  We'll deal.  We'll hope that friendships between the grown ups are strong enough to withstand the growing up of our children.

We came home and I discovered the dog has fleas.  Two let him swim in the pond and then gave him a bath.  I washed our comforter (since he sleeps on our bed.)  Fleas are so gross.  *shiver*

There was an impromptu rain shower, and Three and Four played in it.  I love it when the kids get to play in the rain.  One of my favorite childhood memories is playing in the rain (yeah, so, it was a hurricane technically...I lived.)

Manic Monday hasn't been so manic...I like it like that.

I got my blog report-and last weeks hit count:  131!!!!  Awesomesauce!  Keep it up, y'all.  Comment too, let me know what you're thinking.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Snapshots

Ducks galore.

Dueling Carolina Blue and NC State Red pumpkins.

Boys playing "Titanic."

One making popsicles.  (umm...I'm not sure why teen girls make this face, but most of her friends have pics like this too.)

This is my ticket to board the RMS Titanic.  Such a cool feature of the exhibit!

He was a "bakery man."  Helping me make pumpkin bread.

One of the best parts of helping out in the kitchen.

Helpful boys helping me "mop" the floor.  I poured water out and let them skate around in socks to mop.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday

This week has flown by.

School-hmm, well, umm, errr...not so much.  The girls, yes, because their stuff is all on the computer and ready to go.  Honestly, I hope to actually get to school for Three over the weekend, because I mean, it doesn't really matter what days of the week we get to the work.  The weather turned GORGEOUS this week.  They've spent a lot of time outside.

We live on a pond, and there are baby ducks!!!  Baby ducks that come right up into our yard!  Baby ducks that if you sit down and are still will come and eat RIGHT FROM YOUR HAND!!!!!!!!  I'm a little excited. The kids have all fed the ducklings by hand, and they've been able to touch them too.  A baby duckling pecked at Four's elbow after he was done feeding them and he said "Are you trying to eat ME??"  It was adorable.

Yesterday, we attended the Titanic exhibit at the museum.  It was incredible.  Unfortunately, I had to take Three and Four (which was NOT in my original plan) and they were monsters.  But, we do what we have to do and we make the best of things.  In the end, we all got to touch an actual piece of the hull of the RMS Titanic AND a freshwater iceberg.  Win?  Yeah, we'll call that a win.

Today was LONG.  L-O-N-G.  But, great!  We left the house at 9:30 for a great park playdate "All About Orange."   Almost everyone wore orange, there were orange snacks (including some amazing pumpkin doughnut holes!) and orange games/toys/crafts.  I like this idea, and intend to plan one based on another color-I'll let Four choose.  After that, we headed to Kindergarten Co-Op where the focus was on smell.   It was at the same amazing park we went to last week, so we made an encore trip to the airport observation deck.  We won't be doing that again, at least not AFTER.  Maybe we'll go early and do that first.  The traffic has been HORRIBLE afterwards both times.  I thought we left early enough this time to miss it, but I was wrong.  After that, I had to stop in the grocery store to finish up some baking projects.  Then came home and made dinner.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


So, I didn't post at all last week, but my week was crazy.  Crazy for me is a level beyond insane for most, because well, crazy is just the norm here.  :)

The week prior you all helped me reach my goal of 100 views, actually surpassing it by 9!  109 visits.  SWEET.  Thank you to all of you who read, and shared, and pimped me out.  :)  And, then, I promptly left you hanging.  My bad.

I typed out a super long post with pictures on Sunday-entitled "A week in a day" as it included notes about Manic Monday, some links for Two for Tuesday, a wordy bit about life, a fantastic recipe for Skinny Housewife, Flashback Friday, a note about our amazing Saturday, and a ton of pics for Snapshot Sunday.  And, my phone promptly ate it.

I tried again yesterday morning, to at least get the pictures up, and type out a note about Monday but it was extra Manic and I just didn't get it done.

I'm going to try again because as I type my kids are occupying themselves.  Woot.

Last weeks recap begins-NOW.

Four was very into working on his knife skills.  Here he is cutting his bread.

Three building a spontaneous letter K with plastic knives.

On Tuesday, I had a date with my biggest girl.  Ok, so it was a dr. appt, but we went alone and made a target trip, a starbucks stop, a visit with one of my dear old friends, and had lunch out.  A date that does make.

Reason #1 you should stop buying toys for your kids.  My kids LOVE a box.

Reason #2 you should stop buying toys for your kids:  During our Target trip, I bought a new laundry sorter. The boys wanted the old one, so we let them have it.  It's been an endless number of things, but this was my personal favorite.  They converted it to an ambulance.

Reason #3 you should stop buying toys for your kids:  We had several overcast, rainy days last week and I made this race track/airport with painters tape.

Kindergarten Co-Op has been focusing on senses.  This week was sight.  They put on eye patches and tried tossing a bean bag to a friend with and without it.  Here is Three in his eye patch.  And, it looks like the teacher is poking him in it, points for the photobomb.

The park where co-op was this week was AWESOME.  Right on a lake, with this little beach area.  Here is an example of teamwork, Two and Three pulling a root from the sand.

Saturday we attended a local festival with bounce houses, pony rides, music, etc.  Here are Three and Four climbing.

After the festival, we attended a Pig Pickin'  (a decidedly southern thing) and enjoyed live bluegrass music, a yummy potluck meal, and a bonfire as well as just good times with friends.  Here are One and Two engaging in some sidewalk art.

(These are out of order.)  After co-op on Friday, we went to the airport because my boys are ALWAYS asking to go, and co-op was at a park less than a mile from the airport (which is a 45 minute drive for us.)  Here is Four ready for take off on the runway's and Three watching the construction AND an airplane taxiing down the runway.

Back to the Pig Pickin':  There was some serious cornhole.

This one is just funny.  :)

Yesterday was Manic Monday and it was more manic than normal.  One and Two only have 2 pairs of jeans  between them, and the weather has been chilly!  So, after our regular Monday of pottery class and bowling league, I left Three and Four with a friend and took the girls shopping.  We left the house at 9am, and aside from coming home for a half hour, we weren't HOME until 8pm.  It made for a long day, but the girls now do have 5 pairs of jeans total, plus a hoodie, another long sleeved shirt, and a pair of pj pants.  

Now, Two for Tuesday links:

As we are having a rainy fall so far, and I know some of my friends out west have had some snow already, I created a board on Pinterest full of ideas for "Less than Stellar Weather"

Some more fun fall ideas:  50 Fun fall activities

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday snapshots

For Kindergarten Co-Op we hiked around a mill pond.  This is Three standing on one of the old mill stones.

Inside the nature center, they have a "museum" of sorts...Three dressed up.

The boys looking at the mill.

Three dressed up.

Four learning about the pulley system:

I mentioned making these earlier in the week, the white spoons have upper case, the clear has the lower case and the child matches them up.  Four did it with just a few of the spoons at a time.  Three did the entire set.

The last two pictures are Four doing dots to correspond with the numeral cards.  Then Three took the numeral card, the number word cards, AND the dots card his brother made and matched them all.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sideways Saturday

This has been a gloomy Saturday around these parts.  Rain from sun-up to sun-down!

We didn't let it ruin our day though.  I got up, laced up my running shoes and went for a jog with my new running partner (also known as The Boo Boo.)  Came home, grabbed a quick shower, and got the rest of the boys ready to head out.

We attended the FAAN walk this morning, even in the gloom there was a decent turnout.  It was a mile and a half walk, and the boys did pretty well with it.  It was a walk with a purpose of raising awareness of just how dangerous food allergies can be.  It was nice to see all the other families that understand exactly what it's like.

Then we headed to the mall, had lunch and let the boys play on the rides.  I got 15 minutes alone in Victoria's Secret.  Bliss.

Home, and I got a nap!  WOOT.

The Punk made dinner.

Overall, a grand day around here!

I am anxiously awaiting my Sunday email telling me how many hits there were this week....I'm pretty sure the blog made it over 100 for the first time ever!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashback Friday

Monday:  was manic.  As always.

Tuesday:  Three attended story time with a neighbor and spent MOST of the day playing with them.  We did some of his school work, but not a lot, which wasn't great since we don't school on Monday's and his curriculum is outlined for all 5 days.

Wednesday:  Preschool co-op.  They talked about Food, and where it comes from, the different food groups, what food does for our bodies and what the kids favorite's were.  They didn't have a great attention span, and for once it wasn't JUST mine.  The group brought some donations to be sent to a platoon stationed overseas.  And, the kids made cute cards to send along with the package.  We did school at 7pm, and it was actually SUPER.  I was expecting it to be...not so good since it was late and I know Three was tired, but he did really well.  Four also did several workbook pages.

Thursday:  School.  Lots of it.  We had a lot to catch up on since we didn't school Monday, didn't finish everything from Tuesday OR Wednesday.  But, amazingly, Three finished almost everything that was assigned and we are mostly caught up.  There are only two "extra" assignments to add to normal Friday.  He also finally decided he liked school!  HOORAY!!

Friday:  School.  As I type:  One, Three and Four are playing Yahtzee! at the dining room table.  *smile*  Three doesn't want to start his work, and I keep giving him extensions because he's playing pretty successfully on his own (which he's REALLY not good at.)  We have Kindergarten Co-Op this afternoon and our subject for this month is Five Senses.  Today we're taking a hike around the mill and I am super excited.  I love the mill, I love to take the kids hiking, and we've never hiked this trail!

Tomorrow:  We are participating in the Food Allergy and Anaphalactic Networks awareness walk.  My child has several food allergies, as does one of Three's BEST friends so it's a cause near and dear to my heart.

I've begun training for a Mud Run by running with The Boo Boo (a good friend.)  Yesterday, Two joined us and then Three also joined us for one lap (on his bike.)  I ran/walked the equivalent of a 5k, and I'm proud of myself.

Oh, I'm at 90 hits this week!  Keep pimping me out, please!  Email the link to people, share it on your FB page, +1 me on Google!  I'm so close to my goal.  Yay!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lazy Housewife

This crockpot recipe was so fantastic.  There was NONE left, and it was so yummy that I actually can't wait to have it again!  I highly recommend trying it.  I made this on Monday, since we'd be gone most of the day, it was super easy to get ready, and the glazing process in the last hour was easy too.

Brown Sugar Balsalmic Glazed Pork

Wordy Wednesday

Today's post is going to be about quiet time activities.  I've been scouring the net, and Pinterest, for ideas on things to set out for quiet time.

This is one of my FAV's:

Preschool Activity Trays:  I will def be adding scissors skills pages, and folding the wash cloths/dish towels to our quiet time, as well as patterning and sink/float.

Some scissors skills printables:

Another activity I found via pinterest was to use a small felt board and have different face pieces.  You could set it up as 'free play' or have cards with different emotions on them and have the child make a face to show that emotion.  I need some other colors of felt to make this happen (I only have red, black and white.)

Rockabye Butterfly Montessori Trays has a baster idea that I'm going to use as well!  I also like the beads tray she did, and might replicate that one too.  Who knows!

The Princess and the Tot has some cute ideas as well as an ingenious storage solution.  I've been struggling with how to store the activities, and keep them all centralized, and out of the reach of small hands during non-quiet times (so they have more desire DURING quiet time) and VOILA!

Fine Motor Activities has a lot of activities that easily make quiet time activities.  Hole punching, using tweezers to transfer, adding stickers to outlines (DUH, why haven't I thought of that one??) weaving with pipe cleaners.  Lots and LOTS of great stuff!

I'm trying to come up with more and more ideas so that they aren't doing the same stuff very often, it keeps it fresh for them, which makes the activities more fun and more likely to make quiet time a success!

Remember to share my blog with your friends, help me reach my goal!  I'm pimping myself out too.

(You should know that I typed this on Tuesday, because I knew Wednesday would be a busy day for us...twice yesterday I thought-"Oh, I need to publish today's blog post."  I can even do that from my phone..and I STILL forgot to get it done.  *SMH*  So, you get TWO today!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two for Tuesday

I love this idea!  I'll be making a $ store run while a neighbor takes Three to story time this morning, and buying some plastic spoons and alphabet stickers (hopefully...if not, I'll just use a marker.)

Alphabet Spoons

I also love this idea (if I didn't, why would I be sharing them with you??)  This is planned for Four's school work this week.  Currently, he "does" school whenever he wants to join in.  He is 3.4 and has boundless energy, so I don't force the issue.  But, I like to have at least one activity per day "planned" for him, sometimes he does three of them in one day, and nothing else all week.  It's whatever.

Preschool "Writing" practice

Don't forget to share my blog with your friends and help me reach 100 views this week!  Thanks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Manic Monday!

I'm so tired.

Just so, so tired.

I've been sleeping better than I have in months, but I'm also going pretty hard all day every day.  My youngest child is pure energy from the moment his eyes open (before the sun is up) until they close again at 8pm.  It makes for a long, tiring day.

Between housework, schooling the kids, and doing all of our activities--I'm just tired at the end of Monday.

This morning I got up late (slept until 8 because my hubby got up with those smalls,) I started laundry, I packed up the rest of our "necessities" for being out all day--read a half ton of snacks--got myself dressed, ordered other people to get dressed, put a roast in the crockpot and reminded The Punk to start it around 11.  I loaded all our crap into the van and all the people as well.

The girls pottery class started back today, and I did Zumba while the boys played downstairs.  We grabbed lunch out-because I was simply too lazy to pack it today-and headed to The Bestie's to eat it before we all headed to bowling (her kids are in the same pottery class, and on bowling league with mine.)  Bowling.  Home.  Finished up the roast (I'll share the recipe on Thursday...because it was a HIT!) made roasted mushrooms, rice and peas to go along side.

Complained to The Punk about how tired I am.  Loaded the dishwasher, moved the laundry and put away what was left in the dryer from yesterday.  It's 7pm, time to start washing dirty little bodies and putting on jammies and snuggling.  Then, I shall collapse.

Each week I get a tally of how many visits there were to my page....every week for the last month or so I've been between 80 and 90 visits.  I'm SO excited about this, but I want this to be the week that I push it over 100!!!  Help me out?  Share this post, or another one later in the week.  I'll be posting EVERY day this week.  Share away.

Much love to you all.

Tired mama, over and out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012 is what it is.

This post is going to be a mess.  I'm going to post the pics I meant to post on Sunday, PLUS two links for your Two for Tuesday, PLUS a few words, PLUS a recipe.  :)  I need to catch up.

The boys during quiet time-both playing quietly at the table.

ABC order game with our montessori felt letters for Three.

Do-A-Dot letter A for Four.

A handwriting practice page for Four (with a green juice mustache!)

This was a "What's Missing?" game we played while discussing our senses.  I put random objects on the tray, he spent a minute looking at it and then I would take one thing off (while he closed his eyes) and he had to tell me what was now missing.

Two in a tree at Kindergarten Co-Op.

The boys at BugFest!

The boys at a great park in Raleigh. These are instruments-Four is playing bells and Three is drumming.

And a shot of me, and all my guys.  :)  The Punk, Three, myself, and Four.  


We ordered the Switched On Schoolhouse for the girls.  I could NOT be any happier.  Truly.  It's had some bugs for us (we bought an older used copy, and the operating system on the girls' laptops doesn't want to play nice with it) but the ease of it for ME is Fan-FREAKING-Tastic.  :)

It's almost Fall.  The Autumnal Equinox is Saturday.  It's my very favorite season.  I love the cooler weather. I love sweaters.  I love boots.  Ahhh.  

And, in honor of fall,  today I made applesauce in the crockpot and these yummy pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies:

Phew!  Flashback tomorrow.  Stay on top of things!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sideways Saturday

This is going to be a combined post:  Flashback Friday, and Sideways Saturday.  I meant to blog yesterday, but just didn't get around to it.

Quick flashback of our week:

We started our school year on Tuesday.  We managed to get ALMOST the full weeks worth of lesson's done.  Friday was a rough day.  Three and Four got up at 5:15, so there were some meltdowns during school time, and I just threw in the towel.  I plan to finish up tonight/tomorrow what we didn't get done from last week (just a couple activities.)

We had preschool co-op on Wednesday, and Kindergarten co-op on Friday.  Both were excellent!

Four successfully wrote his name on the top of a handwriting worksheet this week!  All but one letter are pretty close to perfect.  I was super proud of him.  We've not really worked on that at all.  But since Three was doing it, he wanted in on the action.  *smiles*

Today we had a SUPER busy (but SUPER fun day!)  We attended BugFest at the Natural Sciences Museum in Raleigh.  Then we had lunch out, and hit the farmers market.  Followed that up with a trip to a great park-with not only a playground but a big pond, a carousel, and a train ride.  It was outstanding, but I am one tired mama.  I'm hoping for a 7pm bedtime.  Four didn't sleep at all, so I imagine he'll be ready.  Three catnapped for 15 minutes or so...but he'll still probably be ready.  *cheers*

My Sideways Saturday post was going to be about how our quiet time activities are going.  I posted back in March about pulling together ideas for quiet time because I could see the end to nap time and I just NEED that time in the afternoon.  This week was the first time I've been MILITANT about it though.  Teaching all of them has left me NEEDING that quiet time even MORE!

Here is Thursday's set up, starting closest to the camera and moving clockwise:

Number puzzle
Shape match
I can't remember!
Oatmeal bin with magnet wand and magnetic letters inside

The rule was:  Play one of the quiet time activities, play in your room or go outside.  Do NOT talk to mommy (unless there is blood or vomit.)

I am going to scour around for some more ideas, so be expecting a post about them again soon!

I have a ton of pictures for Sunday Snapshots!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Skinny Housewife

Ok, I admit I originally made these because the recipe was easily adaptable to something Four (my allergy laden kid) could eat them, but I've made them since then because they are really, really good.  I made them, and froze them.  There was a post on Skinny Taste about making some of the recipes freezer-friendly, and this was featured (that's how I found it.)  It seemed like a great alternative to a lunch time favorite, that I could feed ALL the kids.  I tossed them into a baggie, froze them, and pop them back in the oven for 5 minutes (or microwave....meh.) and voila, yummytastic healthy chicken nuggets.

SkinnyTaste Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets 

On the subject of Four, and all his allergies, I'm putting together a "cook book" of recipes I make for him.  Just for me...and possibly someday his family (as allergies are often inherited...although, he didn't inherit them from any source we can pinpoint.)  This recipe will make it in there.

The things I had to change (thankfully, not many!):

No panko, I just used breadcrumbs.
I made the breadcrumbs using a corn and egg free bread that we buy for him.

See, not much?  Awesomesauce.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Day of School!

Today was our official first day of our new school year, although we didn't really take a summer break.

Here are Three and Four.  Three is holding "Skunkers."  Skunkers is my birth-board's version of Flat Stanley.  He's been all over, and visited many really cool places!  Now he's with us for awhile, and then we will send him on to someone else.  It is oddly fitting that the only pic I had of Four is blurry.

Story time:  He chose two books, this one is The Jungle Book (notice Skunkers was enjoying the story too?)

Here are One and Two.
Here are Three and Four cutting out pictures to put in an "About Me" collage of things they like.  
This is the science experiment card for this week.  This works right into the curriculum I'm using for Three (Learn at Home Grade 1...which I used as a Kindergarten curriculum for the girls as well.)  The first week of science is based on the five senses.  The cards are something I've had for years....there are 52 very cool experiments mostly using stuff you'd already have around the house.

Overall, school was a big success.  The girls watched a video on 9/11, and will be working on a writing project about it for the rest of the week.  Three did all of the work listed in his book, PLUS Explore The Code book A and the collage project.  The only school Four did was the collage project, even though I have printed some other stuff that I hope we'll get to this week.

Tomorrow is the first day of our Preschool Co-op for this year.  It's a police station tour, I think I might be as excited as the boys.  Honestly.