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.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Manic Monday

Back to our normal routine we go!

I had originally planned to start our new school year on the 27th of August, as that's when the public schools here go back.  That didn't happen.

Then, I planned to start today-because I was planning on skipping a session of my beloved Zumba in an effort to save some money-but then my husband said I should go ahead and take Zumba because I love it, and there have been real changes in my body since I started it 9 months ago.  So, school will officially start it's new year TOMORROW!

This week works really well for starting because both the boys co-ops start this week, AND bowling league started today.  As all the regular activities resume, we'll start school too.

Zumba this morning, bowling league this afternoon, the park in are exhausted.  I'm exhausted.  Is it bedtime yet?  Oh, wait....both boys sheets were wet so I have to remake the beds before bedtime.  Ugh.

We did the park in between for TWO reasons:

1.  We live 30 minutes from the community center where I take Zumba, and the bowling alley is right around the corner from it.

2.  It was GORGEOUS here today!  High of 75, nice breeze, blue sky....ahhhh..

Off to make beds...