Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two for Tuesday!

Today's Two are going to be about Math!

Hands On Math Learning for Kindergarten and First Grade  we are all about some hands on learning with my two little boys (and my younger daughter was a very kinesthic learner as well!)

Measuring with Lego a fun way to cover non-traditional measuring.  At co-op we also used paper clips, and pennies to measure different things.  FUN stuff!

As an added bonus, I'd like to recommend "Games for Math."  It's a book, you can find it online.  It is full of games for Pre-K through 2nd grade teaching basic math skills.  We love it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Manic Monday

So much to do!  A momentary blog though.  :)

Monday, oh, Monday!  I am skipping Zumba today, but only because I don't feel like getting everyone ready to head out the door, and pack our lunch.  But, next Monday gets us back to regular Monday groove.  

Today, we have bowling, I need to register the kids for pottery, then I'm meeting some people from a buy/sell/trade group to unload some stuff. I'm rapidly unloading stuff that my kids have outgrown/don't use.  It's freeing!!  Less stuff.  That's a huge goal for me this year.  

The Punk is going to take the boys to visit family for a week, without me.  I plan on REALLY purging their toys, and the attic contents while they are gone.  I'm looking forward to it!

Off to get housework-and school-done before we have to start our running around!  We didn't get anything done on Friday, so I have to play some catch-up! Have a great Monday, y'all.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sideways Saturday

I left the house bright and early this morning (7:15am) with Three and Four to get the shopping done.  We went to 5 stores, and after nearly 4 hours they were finally losing it.  Because I have the best children on the planet, my big girls recognized the "I'm going to explode!" look on my face as I came through the door, and suggested I go eat lunch in my room.  I took them up on that, and after a half hour lunch time break in my room, I no longer wanted to strangle anyone.  YAY!

I started working on cleaning my house up (because I've been sick most of the week, it's a pit.)  Then we took Two to basketball practice.  It's the first time I've had to take the boys to and it was not a barrel of fun. Four managed to headbutt me (by accident) and make me bite my tongue, causing it to bleed everywhere.  I had to drag him from the gym to try to get to the bathroom, while the gym full of other parents I'm sure thought I was going to beat him.  When I showed him my bleeding mouth in the bathroom, he dissolved into a puddle of sorry.  He's a very sensitive boy.  I was just trying to make him understand why he can't be a spazz!

As we were driving home, I realized I had failed to put the roast I took out for dinner in the crockpot when I got home from shopping.  Hmmm....what to do for dinner??  I went to Pinterest.  I remembered that I had pinned something just yesterday that was "muffin tin meals."  I chose that first and came across this:

Cheeseburger Cups

They looked YUMMY, and I had everything I needed to make them.  We have a winner.

If you read this blog, you know what comes now...the changes.  :)

I made the biscuits from my homemade Bisquick recipe.  I added the bacon as the site mentions, and I used a homemade BBQ sauce I made earlier this week.  (The only changes I made to that recipe were that I used chicken stock in the place of the apple juice, mostly because I didn't have it.)  I don't use Velveeta, so I used shredded cheddar jack.

It got mixed reviews from my family.  Two didn't care for the biscuit part, but loved the meat-cheese-mixture.  Three liked it (wowzers, I know!)  Four refused to eat it, and has chosen to just be hungry until morning.  Whatevs.  One is at the mall with a friend.   I LOVED them.  I will add them to my rotation, the kids will deal.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Flashback Friday

This has felt like such a LONG week.  The Punk has been out of town, and the boys, One, and myself have been battling a cold.  This combo is really not great.

Monday:  I called a sick day.

Tuesday:  We didn't do much.  I ran errands in the morning, and took my nephew to the DMV in the afternoon.  I felt better but still not 100%.

Wednesday:  We skipped preschool co-op because the boys were up a lot in the night coughing.  We also skipped Three's art class.  However, we got a TON of work done at home that day.  It was like we hadn't taken the prior two days off at all.  I love it when that happens.  We are learning about President's Day this week, following up on George Washington stuff we learned at Kindergarten Co-Op last week, and adding in information about Abraham Lincoln.  I cut out a silhouette of Washington and the boys added white cotton balls for his puffy white hair.  We also made a hat and beard like Lincoln's.  It was pretty fun!  Three's writing assignment was to tell me what he would do "If I was president..."

Three has a cookbook that he's been dying to try a recipe for chocolate covered banana's from.  I remembered to get chocolate chips while I was doing errands on Tuesday so we were able to make them.  He was very excited, but didn't like the end result.  Ahhh, well.  Lesson learned, and I got some chocolate covered strawberries out of the deal.

Thursday:  Again, a fantastic school day.  We continued reading these books:

I tried THREE times to get this picture turned the right way.  I am unwilling to give it any more of my time.  moving on.

Friday:   Today we're going to talk about President's pets.  I will show the boys the current white house pet, we will read a book we have called President Adam's Alligator.  Then we will do some of the things on this site (the voting, the writing assignment...)  Chalk Talk: A Kindergarten Blog

At Co-Op today we will start learning about the Constitution.  Next weeks lessons will cover that subject at home as well.  We'll be using some things I found here:  Constitution Day Kindergarten Activities   We'll also learn about some of the symbols of America (the Statue of Liberty, the Bald Eagle, the Liberty Bell, the Flag,  the National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance.)  For kid sized snippets about these things, I recommend here:  Ben's Guide to the US Government for Kids!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Skinny Housewife

Today, I made cookies.  Breakfast cookies.  They come in just under 100 calories per cookie, and have just over 3 grams of protein a piece (without the protein powder).

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Changes (because you know there almost always are with me:)

I didn't include the protein powder, the butter flavor extract, the nuts, or the vanilla.  :)  I only added chocolate chips to 3 of the cookies.

Three loved these, he ate 3.  I also really liked them.  Yummy, I think it would make a good morning snack to help push through to lunch time.  :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

Yesterday,  I found a pin on Pinterest that brought up a subject I've discussed here before--the "perfect" homeschooler.  And, more importantly (IMO,) the damage they cause.

Here is a link to the blog post:  Dear Homeschool Moms Who Have It All Figured Out,

It got my brain going again on this subject.  And made me think before I commented a couple places yesterday:  Does this LIFT up the other homeschooler?  Does it encourage them?  Or is it self-promoting?

I never aim to make others feel bad with my posts, and I think I'm pretty honest when we are in a patch of life that is less than productive.  It happens, to EVERYONE.  Regardless of what some would like you to believe.

My mantra--It all evens out in the end.

I've been saying this for YEARS, and will tout it to any friends who come to me with a "we've been off track because of XYZ for a couple months...how are we ever going to finish 'on time'??"  First:  "on time" is a figment of your public school upbringing!  Truly.  Homeschooling allows "on time" to be whenever you finish!  Voila!

Now that my kids are older, I can tell you:  I'm right.  They have proven it to me!

Even though when One was ten years old we started totally OVER with math-like back to addition fact tables-this year, her 9th grade year, her math is dead even with her public school counterparts.  It all evens out in the end.

Even though Two didn't read fluently until she was nearly 8 (gasp!) she is an outstanding reader.  Having read all the Harry Potter series, plus Hunger Games and currently Catching Fire, plus beginning The Pretty Little Liars book series, PLUS required reading for school in the last year.  It all evens out in the end.

If you can convince yourself of this, you will be free!  Free, I say!!!  Just believe it.  If you are patient (ok, most of the time I was patient...not always, I yell, a lot) and loving and continue trying to provide new ways to look at the material, and are willing to step back and present it later, or even start completely from scratch--It will all even out in the end.

Much love, and zero perfection.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Two for Tuesday

Linkie Doo's!

Here is a post about morning routine and daily chores:  Back to Basics: Morning

I just recently made chore cards for my 6 yr old (non-reader,) you might have seen them posted in a Snapshot Sunday post a couple weeks back.  He ASKED for a chore card, because his sisters have them.  His have things like:  feed the dog, put away laundry (his and his brothers,) unload dishwasher, clean windows, take out trash/recycling, set the table...there are 5 items each day, 4 days a week (none of the kids have chores on Monday as we are out of the house most of the day.)  I laminated them and he uses a dry erase marker to check them off as he goes.  He is very excited about this process, so I figure I'll run with it!

Since three of my kids are currently taking art, I've been trying to incorporate more art at home.

Taking Lines for a Walk

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Snaphots

Three has been very into drawing lately, and loves the white board.

An estimation activity.

Working on writing his valentines.

While Three had art class, Four and I visited the used book store.  We left with two non-fiction books picked out by a three year old.  My kids are weird.

Four and I also visited a little bake shop, and picked up valentines treats for all his siblings, and daddy and I-since he can't have anything from the bakery, he got to pick.  This is Three's sugar cookie.

A graphing activity.

Making the candy dance!

I heart his expression here.

Our science experiment to see which candy would dissolve fastest.

Valentine's Day Lunch

President's Day activity at Co-Op (he's making a cherry tree after listening to the story of George Washington and the Cherry Tree.)

Scaling the wall.

And less than 24 hours after the picture above (where he isn't even wearing a jacket...) we had snow.  Three and Four are catching snowflakes on their tongues.

Making a snowball.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sideways Saturday

My project for today was to untangle my necklaces.  I had a massive tangle of necklaces.  I love them all, and was upset that they were tangled and last night when I was trying to get dressed to go out on a date with The Punk, I had to untangle something to put on.  That's just not cool.  So, I decided today to fix them.

After spending about a half hour working on detangling my necklaces, I went to pinterest to search for a better way to store them.  Because as I was putting them back in the jewelry box that I have kept them in, I could just SEE them getting tangled again.  GRRRRR.

I found this really great list of options:  11DIY Necklace Storage Ideas

Now, I really love the frame one, and may do that in the near future.  However, I needed something immediate.  I chose the hanger one.  I have to say it turned out just nifty, and I made it in UNDER the amount of time I spent detangling the necklaces to begin with.  I didn't have any pretty fabric just lying around, because I don't sew.  So, I used a T-shirt from one of the boys, that had a rip in it.  It worked just fine to be cut into strips and layered around the hanger.  Now, I'm going to make a 2nd one.  I'll be hanging them on the wall in my closet, and it looks CUTE with them being hangers.

Lovin' it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I'm going to combine Wordy Wednesday and Lazy Housewife posts today.  I really intended to type out a wordy Wednesday post yesterday, as well as LAST Wednesday but just didn't get around to it.

Our Wednesday schedule has turned into a copy of Manic Monday!  We are actually pretty busy most days right now.  Tuesday is our only day we don't have an activity!

Monday-Pottery class and Bowling League
Tuesday-WOO HOO home sweet home (mostly)
Wednesday-Preschool Co-Op followed by Three's art class
Thursday-Four's art class followed by One's art class
Friday-Gymnastics class (once a month) followed by Kindergarten Co-op.

This doesn't include evening activities (like basketball.)

It's a little chaotic, and quite reminiscent of the time when the girls were the boys ages and we were out of the house way more than we were home.  Add on to this "outside" schedule just fun things like the park, or a trip to the museum.  It's crazy.  It's super fun though!

Now, for Lazy Housewife--this is a recipe I've been making for at least a dozen years.  I have no idea where the recipe originated from, I haven't used an actual recipe in....probably a dozen years.  After the first couple times, you just wing it.  I'm going to share 2 versions:  Lazy Housewife-simple, dump/stir/bake format.  Skinny Housewife-make things from scratch for a healthier version of the same dish.

Lazy Housewife Mexican Chicken

One can cream of chicken soup
One can worth of milk
2 cups Shredded Mexican Blend cheese (or cheddar, whatever you've got will work.)
Taco Seasoning Packet
Chicken Breasts/tenderloins

Combine soup, milk, taco seasoning mix and 1/2 the shredded cheese in a bowl.  Grease your baking dish.  Put the chicken in the dish and pour the sauce over it.  Top with the rest of the cheese.  Put in oven.  I do 450 for 30 minutes if I'm using breasts, 350 for 20 minutes if I'm doing tenderloins.

Skinny Housewife Mexican Chicken

A healthier version is easy (but for real, I ain't hatin'  you do what you gotta do....)  But, you can make your own "cream of" soup fairly easily.  I used 2tbls butter, 2 tblsp flour, 1 cup chicken broth (homemade in the crockpot from a chicken that we had eaten,) and 1 cup milk plus seasonings:  salt and pepper, that was all I used because my broth has lots of other stuff in it.  Season according to your own taste.  

Taco Seasoning Mix:  I've posted the recipe I use before, because it's easy and great and free of any "bad" things.  There are tons of recipes available online, this one is my personal tried and true.  I make a double batch at a time, and keep it in a Tupperware container.

I should point out that I use coconut milk for this recipe (and all others.)  It doesn't alter the taste at all, has WAY less calories and the fat is all 'good' fat.  My son is allergic to milk, so it's a necessity for us, BUT I've learned to love the health benefits of it so much that I don't plan on switching back (even though, we haven't tested for milk allergy in almost 2 years, and I probably should give it a try.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Two for Tuesday!

Next time you have celery, try this experiment!

Regrowing Celery   I am hoping to have a garden on our deck this spring, and this is my (I mean...the kids) first project.

I've shared a link to something specific on this blog before, but I've been perusing more of her articles and I really like the page.  It doesn't look like she's posted in a few months (but she is a teacher, so maybe it'll pick up during spring break/summer vacay,) but there is a wealth of good ideas in there for you to catch up on.

Kindergarten Kindergarten