Thursday, July 30, 2015

Skinny Housewife: Energy Bites

I Should Be Mopping: 4 Ingredient Energy Bites

Awesome, easy snack!

I only changed one thing, I used steel cut oats.  They are smaller and different in texture so I didn't do step one.  The boys both tried them and liked them too.  Win.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Two For Tuesday: Coral Reef

YouTube links

Coral Reef Activity Book (printables)

We also will make a "coral reef" out of an egg carton and some paper, we did this craft in our Early Elementary co-op this school year and it was fun.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Skinny/Lazy Housewife: CutThroat Chicken

Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken Thighs

This recipe falls into BOTH categories of recipes I post.  Hoorah!  It is SO freaking amazingly outstandingly delicious.  EVERYONE in our house loves it!  (Ok, not EVERYONE, One is vegetarian.  But all the carnivores cheer when I announce that we are having it for dinner.)  The link provided is the originator of the recipe, and that is her name for the recipe.  However, in our house, we call it CutThroat Chicken.

It came to this name because after the first time I made it, Two and I said we would cut each other over the last piece!

I found the recipe on Pinterest, and had pinned it because I was looking for crock-pot recipes....the pin is incorrectly labeled.  I got all the stuff out to put it in the crockpot and discovered that it actually is NOT a crock recipe.  BUT it only takes a couple minutes to get it together and throw it in the oven, so I decided it was still do-able on the busy day.  I've made it a handful of times since discovering it.  I've made it with the boneless thighs, and also boneless skinless breasts (and breast tenderloins.)  I feel like I also made them once with bone-in thighs...but I'm not sure that memory is accurate.

The ONLY change I made is that I followed a suggestion she gives to cut the spice (because Three and Four are wimpy about heat...I have promised Two that I will make it soon for JUST SHE AND I and I will put ALL the red pepper flakes in, she and I both love spicy things!)  I add probably between a 1/4 and 1/2 of the red pepper flakes.  It is still spicy, and YUMMY.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Two for Tuesday

Ok this is a HUGE edition of Two for Tuesday, and it is brought to you by a dear friend of mine (whom I've known since I was 15!) who asked for some of my favorite preschool curriculum/ideas.  I looked back on blog posts, and I pulled some from memory, and then I linked my pinterest boards.  I no longer have preschoolers....SIGH....but I know a lot of you still do so here are some of my favorite things.

Homeschool Creations Printable Pack


Alphabet Spoons

Survival Guide

No Time For Flash Cards

My Preschool Pinterest Board

My Homeschooling Pinterest Board

My Science Pinterest Board

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Meh

I haven't felt really compelled to write about any particular subject matter as of late.

Life is going really well over here, aside from the tremendous sickness of March, 2015 is rocking my socks.  My BABY just turned 6, and my BIGGEST is about to turn 17.  I just celebrated my 39th, and life at nearly 40 is pretty amazing.  I'm training for the next Spartan.  I had to have a shoulder injury checked out by the orthopedist, and am thankful that it isn't a joint issue and we ruled out any damage to my rotator cuff.  It's a simple muscle issue and can be pretty easily fixed.  The main thing is I have to build up the exercises....slow and steady is not my thing.  It's a lesson, however, that I learned while training for a half marathon last year, and I have another chance to practice it now.  My pain is already decreasing and I've only been doing the physical therapy exercises for a week.

My only complaint could come in the form of being tired of sickness.  In the last 2 weeks, Four has had an asthma attack, a stomach bug, and now some random cold/other virus that has him so worn out that he put himself to bed at 5:30 last night and ACTUALLY slept til 6:15 this morning!  The Punk and Three also got the stomach bug.  It's been a rough couple of weeks, sickness wise, but thankfully we've been able to manage it.

We are all excited the pool is open, because I have water-babies.

Tonight, the girls (One, Two, The Bestie, Her One, and two other good friends) and I are attending a concert together and tomorrow I'm taking One to get her nose pierced.

Life is good.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Two for Tuesday: Wetlands Science

Moving along with our Magic School Bus summer science, Wetlands!  I posted the link to download the original file which has books and ideas, but I will occasionally be posting extra things that I found to go along with it.

The Magic School Bus Gets Swamped

I think we are going to skip making the diorama, and do these additional experiments instead.

Algae and Pollution  a cool experiment to add as well, we live on a pond, so the water will be no issue.


Fabulous Wetlands with Bill Nye, Science Guy!  because, Bill Nye.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lazy Housewife: Crockpot Beef Stew

Easy Crockpot Beef Stew 

This was probably the best beef stew I've ever made.  You know what, it was DEFINITELY the best beef stew I've ever made.

I only made ONE change.  You're shocked, I know.  I didn't use bouillon cubes because we have "Better Than Bouillon" in our fridge all the time, so I used that instead of the cubes.  That's the only change I made.  I ate it for 2 days straight--dinner, lunch, dinner, lunch.  Yeah.  Then we froze some of it and The Punk and I ate it for dinner a couple weeks later.  Still delish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Two For Tuesday: Habitats

These links go along with our Magic School Bus summer science.


We will be making the FWSS flipbooks for the all the habitats we will be covering, so this is for the next few weeks (we won't actually be USING it with this unit, but I am trying to be prepared.)  Saylor's Log: Forest Anyone?


We'll read Frog and Toad books, and discuss how the habitat needs of Frogs and Toads differ.  We will also review the life cycle of frogs.  These are some great printables (I'm hoping I can just find I know I have these already, if not I'll print them again.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Skinny Housewife: My FIT Journey

I was thinking back about where this all began for me.  When Four was almost 1 yr old, I talked The Bestie into taking a Zumba class with me.  She hauled her cookies 40 minutes to my house, once a week, so we could drive another 20 minutes together to take this class.  We did 2 sessions (12 weeks) and I loved it.  Life happened, and my One's dance class got moved to the same night and made it impossible for me to take the class any longer.  Approximately a year later, One and Two started taking pottery classes at the community center.  While we (The Bestie again) were sitting and waiting for them to be done, we observed that there was a Zumba class in the building DURING the same time frame.  If we had to be there every week ANYWAY, why not take the class too??  The Bestie signed up with me, again because I just drag her along whenever I can.  She was only able to do another 2 sessions-she has a lot of health issues-but I stuck with it.  After taking the class for nearly 9 months, I decided to become an instructor.  I had no job prospects for it, but I wanted to be able to do it more so why not??  Several months later my instructor wanted to "retire" and handed me her class.  It's the class I still teach, and there are a handful of students left that originally took that class WITH me.

I lost 15 lbs in that first 9 months of class and I made no other changes.  I don't diet well, and I was only exercising that ONE time a week.  1 hour once a week, and I lost 15 lbs.  I wish I had measured myself instead of focusing on numbers, because I know I lost several inches in my thighs.

Zumba became a "gateway exercise" for me (*think gateway drug..*)  And now that I was 15 lbs lighter and my heart and lungs were stronger, I could run again.  I loved running YEARS ago when I was in high school.  I started the couch to 5K program with a friend, and we met up 3 or 4 times a week to walk/run.  I signed up to do a mud run with a bunch of friends.  I was HOOKED.  I did a color run, a glow run, an electric run.  But obstacle course/mud runs were my happy place.  I like the added difficulty level that the mud/obstacles adds.  It pushes me harder than just "running."  And, I like to be pushed.

I started BikiniBodyMommy, and do two rounds of her program (which I HIGHLY recommend.)  I lose inches.  I'm happy.

I have a friend who I met through Zumba, we attended the same class originally and both became instructors.  She taught at a gym, and started working out at the gym in addition to teaching.  She started taking CrossFit classes.  She signed up for a Spartan race.  She invited me.  After reading about it, I KNEW I wasn't ready for that.  Fast forward a year.  She asks again.  She assures me that I CAN do it.  But, I'm really uneasy about it.  I'm NOT strong.  I am a good runner, yes.  I've done obstacles, yes.  But nothing even CLOSE to the level of a Spartan.  I consult another friend (who has done more races than he can probably count, and is by all accounts the most badass guy I know.)  He tells me the truth-which is why I consulted him-that I can't do it, right now.  I CAN train and absolutely do it.  He suggests Warrior Dash as a "try and see," since it is harder than the obstacle/mud runs I've done, but not as hard as a Spartan.  I sign up.  I drag some friends.  It was AMAZING.  It was hard.  But I finished.  And I finished in decent time.  One of the friends and I discuss half marathons WHILE running the Warrior Dash, and decide we want to do one together (He has already done one, I have not.)  I come home, and sign up.  4 months later I completed my first half-marathon.
I decided my new goal was a Spartan race.

I bit the bullet and signed up.  I installed a pull-up bar in our house.  I joined the gym.  I joined and started a program at the gym.  I lift weights.  I run.  I do pull-ups and burpees.  I get sick.  Really sick.  I lose a full month of training just weeks before my first Spartan race.  I sign up for the 2nd race to complete my trifecta BEFORE even completing the first.  Because I believe I can do it.

I show up to my Spartan and meet up with the ONE friend (Warrior-Dash and half-marathon friend)  I could convince to run it with me.  Turns out he didn't really read anything about a Spartan race, and was expecting something Warrior-Dash-Esque.  He was in for a shock.  We did it.  SLOWLY.  But, we did it.  Together.  I was/am so super proud of him.  I was/am so super proud of myself.

Over the last year,  I've lost nearly 19 inches total.  I have the measurements from when I started BBM, and I did comparison measurements last month to see how far I've come.  My weight hasn't really changed, but that's ok.  I am happy with the way my pants fit, and that's what really matters.  I'm also SO MUCH STRONGER.  SO.  MUCH.  Just this week, I had a new milestone!  I was able to do the bars at the park.  I've NEVER been able to do them.  Not ever.  And, I'm currently 'nursing' a shoulder injury (I see the Ortho in 2 weeks, that's the earliest they could get me in) so it makes it even more impressive to me.  I am strong enough to do them, even with my shoulder being less than 100%.  That's a BIG deal.

Now, I'm signed up for Spartan Super, and will be signing up for Spartan Beast (after I volunteer and receive my free race) this year, so that I get the Trifecta medal. The Bestie asked me "What's next?  What is there for you to DO after you've completed this?"  I didn't hesitate with my reply,  because, yes I've already thought it out...Tri-Athlon.  2016 is the year of the Tri-Athlon.  The Bestie had a fit of giggles.  I'm always moving, always training, always pushing.  Why WOULDNT I know what I'm going to be training for next year?  ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Two for Tuesday: Our Summer Plans

The Homeschool Belle: Free Science Plans Using Magic School Bus 

Seriously, how much WIN is in this??  We are doing what promises to be an AMAZING science Co-Op next year (and I'm sure it's going to be totally amazing because two of the smartest, creative, most organized women I've ever met are organizing it) but to get through the summer....we will be doing this.  We will not be doing one unit per week, probably 2 a week to make it fit into summer.  And likely not in "order," because week 1 is about Ants and I own THIS, but don't have the ants for it so we will start in week 2 and come back to week 1 when our live ants arrive.  BUT-I know the boys are going to LOVE it.  They are both HUGE into science experiments, and c'mon who DOESNT love MSB.

A comment was posted on the blog listing the season and episode number for those who are going to watch them via Netflix (like us,) so here is that info:

Gets Ants in its Pants: S1-E12
Hops Home: S1-E5
Gets Swamped: S4-E4
In the City: S4-E12
In the Rainforest: S3-E12
Takes a Dive: S4-E11
All Dried Up: S1-E7
Cold Feet: S2-E12
Going Batty: S2-E9
Spins a Web: S3-E2
Gets Ready, Set Dough: S1-E9
Meets Molly Cule: S3-E2
In the Artic: S3-E1
Bright Idea: S3-E5
In the Haunted House: S1-E8
Makes a Stink: S4-E10
Gets Eaten: S1-E4
For Lunch: S1-E2
Inside Ralphie: S1-E3
Flexes Its Muscles: S2-E2
Goes Cellular: S4-E5
Works Out: S3-E9
Lost in Space: S1-E1
Out of this World: S2-E11
Sees Stars: S4:E7
Gains Weight: S4-E8
Under Construction: S3-E3
Getting Energized: S2-E10
Gets Charged S4-E9
Goes on Air: S4-E3
Cracks a Yolk: S4-E1
Rocks and Rolls: S3-E13
Meets the Rot Squad: S1-E6
Gets Planted: S3-E11

(A note about the InsectLore link above--we've used LOTS of their products.  We've had the butterflies, ladybugs, and praying mantis habitat previously with One and Two.  I've always been very happy with their products.  We've never done the ants, so One and Two will probably geek out with us on this as well.)

My second summer goal is Spelling.  We don't currently do spelling, but I know we need to start.  I've always been a naturally good speller, so it slips my mind a lot.  Having a child who is really struggling with reading/spelling keeps bringing it back to my attention, so I'm going to attempt to put it into place over the summer while our schedule is much slower.  Here are some links that spell out (HA!) how I intend to work this.

Sunny Days In Second Grade-- each boy will get a composition book to use for all the things.  Day 1 they write the list of words.  And do one of the "tic-tac-toe" items you'll find here:  Tic-Tac-Toe Spelling Homework Freebie, Day 2 and 3 they will do a tic-tac-toe item as well, and Day 4 we will do a pre-test which if they ace, we will call the test and be done!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Manic Monday

The start of our final week of "school."  What that really means is that our regular school year activities are winding down (mostly co-op,) and I couldn't be happier. I love co-op. I really do. But it makes for such a long day that I'm looking forward to the break.  Lego Club and TKD will continue through summer. Lego Club is one day a month though so it's no biggie and TKD will have a break each month for camp (the boys will be attending a week there.)  doable. 

Today:  I teach. Back to back classes. Then get home for lunch and take the boys to TKD.  My shoulder (which I injured 6 months ago and finally just made an appt to have checked) is killing me this morning. That should make classes extra FUN!  I took ibuprofen. I just need it to do its thing now. 

This weekend was a whirlwind!  It was a ton of fun though. I spent ALL day Saturday with some of my favorite folks. Exploring Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh and eating and drinking. It was a good time. Yesterday, MADD put on those annual Kids obstacle course run and the boys both ran it twice. I volunteered and ran the slip-n-slide which was a joy for me.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Snapshots

One with her gorgeous purple hair. 

My hands!  Grape Ape. 

Wine and Design with The Bestie and some other beauties!

Four lost his first tooth!!!

Our last official co-op class of the year, we learned about coral reefs. 

Quill writing in Old Salem. 

Friday night Magic School Bus. 

Saturday at the arts festival. The Bestie filling out the "before I die" wall. 

Today at the MADD Crazy Lil Run obstacle course run for kids. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flashback Friday: Spirited Kids

Wordy Wednesday is a post I made about my favorite parenting advice author.  If you have a spirited, spunky, "difficult,"  Star-Girl/Boy in your family....I recommend her.  Also, if you don't get the Star Girl reference, you should read this.

Also, since there are no links in the original post, here is a link to the amazon page that has Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books.  I got to see her speak in person once, right after the Power Struggles book came out.  She's amazing.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Skinny Housewife: I AM SPARTAN

I talked about my Spartan leading up to it, but didn't get the POST-race blog up yet.  Today's the day!

Before I launch into pictures, I want to talk about this race.  FIRST-I can say it was the hardest thing I've ever done.  It pushed me past where I thought I could go.  It was physically draining.  The hardest obstacle (deemed by others...) was the bucket carry-I can't find my pic of that-but I totally felt like a BOSS during that one.  I do believe that carrying Four gave me good practice.  I held the bucket like I hold him and just powered through.  I even went back and helped my teammate with his bucket.  Because that's what Spartans DO!  For me personally, the hardest obstacle was the barbed wire.  You had to army crawl, or roll, under barbed wire for what felt like at least a full mile.  It was just grueling.  I hated it. I still hate it.  It's the one thing I'm LEAST looking forward to in the other two Spartan races I will do this year.  Ugh.  I did have to take some penalties, and it gave me a good gauge of what I need to work on for the upcoming races (pull-ups...lots and lots of pull-ups.)  SECOND-a friend who has done these races for a couple years, and then someone random on the Spartan FB page had this message "No one is ever a Spartan alone."  That message played true on the race course.  I saw people, who were clearly in tip-top physical condition and capable of blowing through the obstacle, stopping to help someone they didn't know who was struggling.  I was helped by strangers (and two Spartan volunteers.)  My teammate helped me.  I helped him.  We helped others.  Others helped us.  It was such an encompassing experience to become part of this tribe of athletes.  I'm humbled and honored.  I AM SPARTAN.  AROO.  AROO.  AROO.

Now, pictures!

My friend E and I, pre-race.

 You had to swim under this wall, we chose the "limbo" method, although, you see my face is still pretty much covered in mud.

Post-Fire jump.

Here is the badass finisher medal that I earned.  AND my SPRINT piece that fits the Trifecta medal.  

And a post-race selfie with E.

Last photo. If you haven't heard of Jamberry, or if you're feeling skeptical about the idea...this is for you.  These are Jamberry nail wraps on my fingers POST race (obvs.)  I didn't lose a single wrap during the race.  AND, I hadn't just applied them.  They were 19 days old and STILL withstood a Spartan.  If you want to check them out, click here:  Jamberry  I'm not a consultant, but that link will take you the page of a good friend of mine who is!  I don't get a kick-back of any sort from promoting her or the product, I just really believe in them.  Also, my nails still looked GREAT after I took the Jams off-because, hello, all that mud...they had to come off.  Better than they have ever looked after an OCR (Obstacle Course Run.)  Jamberry also lets you design nails, and I will be designing some Spartan themed wraps for my next 2 races now that I know how well they held up AND protected my natural nails.   I won't race naked anymore.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Two for Tuesday

Math Aids allows you to make custom math worksheets for the skills you are working on!  I kind of love this site right now.

Learning Language Arts Through Literature has been one of my favorite curriculum since One was around the age Four is now.  Wild.  I just pulled down our second grade level book (the red book) and have been using it with Three for a couple months.  I had forgotten how much I love it.  I'm so happy I saved them (I have them through 6th grade.)  The website allows you to print out a sample lesson to work through.  And I will say that there is some Bible in there (we recently did a lesson about David and Goliath) and I know that can upset some very secular folks.  Full disclosure and all that.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flashback Friday: Better Than A Book Report

50 standard book report alternatives

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two for Tuesday

2nd Grade All About My Country this site has a lot of awesome links.  Granted, I haven't checked them ALL...but the ones I have looked at have been informative for our passports project in Co-Op.

Second Grade Earth Day Worksheets

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Skinny Housewife/Wordy Wednesday combo post

Wednesday's are kinda crazy lately, so I didn't get the post up.  *shrug*  It happens.  What I was going to post ties into Skinny Housewife though, so I'm going to bang it out today.

You all know I was training hard to be in the best shape of my life before my Spartan Sprint (which is this Sunday!)  Then, March happened.  March can suck it.  And by it, I mean big hairy balls.  Yep, suck it, March.

Around the beginning of March I just started to feel "off."  I was exceptionally tired.  More tired than I can EVER recall being.  I also stopped sleeping.  No amount of sleep aids, limiting caffeine, limiting screen time was helping.  There was no consistent sleep to be had.  This only made me feel worse, of course.  It got to the point where every little thing seemed like an uphill battle, it just took too much effort to do ANYthing.  My body felt heavy, that's how exhausted I was.  Daily functioning took all my energy, and there was literally NOTHING left for myself.  I stopped going to the gym, I didn't run, and I was barely making it through the classes I teach, and my house was in shambles.  It got bad enough that people who don't really know me well were noticing that I "didn't seem like me."  It was mostly the energy level that tipped people off.  I am a VERY HIGH energy person (especially for my age) and I just didn't have any.  I felt bad every time my family asked me if I was ok, because all I felt like I was doing was whining:

Are you ok?  How are you feeling?
I feel awful.  I'm so tired.

It was the only mantra I had and it also played over and over in my own head, which just perpetuated the misery.  3 weeks ago I decided I couldn't do it anymore, and drug myself to the doc.  We figured out what was going on, and quickly developed a solution.  Within 48 hours, I felt unbelievably like MYSELF again.  Within 4 days, I was totally back.

I've been rattling in my own brain about what I was supposed to learn from this (I believe the universe is always trying to teach us something, from every experience) and I keep coming up empty.  My life is normally blissfully happy (I often tell people, when they ask how I am, that I'm so good I have to pinch myself to make sure this is REALLY my life!) and this turned my whole world upside down.  But, what was the lesson?  Last night, I had dinner with The Bestie and The Lyonesse.  They both deal with chronic illness, and so do several other friends/acquaintances of mine and I had the thought that maybe I was simply learning empathy.  A one month long dose of this is similar (although, a mild version) to what they live in their life EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I will continue to rattle this around in my brain, and try to learn what it is I'm supposed to gain from this experience.

Fortunately, for me, it was short-lived and a relatively easy fix.  I'm now back to myself.  #makingAprilmybitch and looking forward to competing in the Spartan race at less than my best, but still giving it my all.  I have 2 more Spartans to do this year, and hopefully, I'll be in tip-top physical shape for those.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Two for Tuesday

I've been bad about posting the last few weeks, and I'll give more details about that tomorrow here on the blog...but I wanted to throw you guys a couple links!

We are working on Passports in Co-Op currently, and tomorrow we are venturing to Russia.

Russia's Climate and Geography

Kandinksy Tree Art Project

Info about Kandinsky


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Snapshots

Two after 5 minutes of trying to nail a double under. 

When one screen isn't enough....Three playing Minecraft on Xbox, and watching a minecraft video on YouTube. 

I successfully dyed my hair purple. 

Park play between co-op and TKD this week. 

Practicing TKD forms at the park. 

He was giving me directions for my workout. A crossfit board designed by my 5 yr old. It went like this: 
Run, box jumps on that ledge, 8 lunges, run back, 8 lunges. 
Run, box jumps, 7 lunges, run back, 7 lunges. 
Run, box jumps, 6 lunges, run back, 6 lunges. 

He clearly has a future. 

Hangman with these crazies. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Flashback Friday: Running Playlists

Here is the original post about my running playlist.

I posted that 2 full years before I ran my first half marathon.  My half marathon list needed to be around 3 hours long, my pace was right at 12 miles an hour.  When I was talking to friends about it they recommended I make it longer than it needed to be because a couple of them had run out of music before completing their half-marathon and it was tragic.  Here is a list of some of my favorite songs on my Run playlist.

The Big Bang-Rock Mafia
Bad-The CAB
What's Luv-Fat Joe
23-Miley Cyrus
The Motto-Drake
Started From the Bottom-Drake (THIS is my ALL TIME FAV running song, the beat is great.)
GUAP-Big Sean
Whistle-Flo Rida
Dance (A$$)-Big Sean
You Need Me, I Don't Need You-Ed Sheeran
Wake Up Call-Maroon 5
Gold Digger-Kanye West
See You Again-Miley Cyrus
The Man-Aloe Blacc

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Skinny Housewife...sort of?

I's a vegetable recipe!  BUT...there's a lot of cheese.  And, I'm just not a fan of "low fat" cheese.  If you are, go for it.  

This post was posted by Courtney Luper on FB, but there isn't a link to a website for the recipe.  So, that's as much credit as I can give for where this recipe originates.  *shrug*

Things I did differently (c' know I hardly ever make a recipe 'as is':)  

I loathe boiled cauliflower.  If you're a fan, go right ahead, but I can tell you that you're wrong.  To start with, I roasted the head of cauliflower because I think it makes the cauliflower YUM-tastic.  Roasting cauliflower is simple.  Cut it up, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put in oven.  Done.  I roasted mine at 375 for 30 minutes.  Stirring it around every 10.  

Second, I didn't have "light cream" in fact, I had never heard of it.  But a quick google search told me that I could use milk with melted butter (1/4 cup/1 TBLS.)  That's what I did.  

Third, I rounded the parmesan up to 3 TBLS even.  And I threw in a handful of cheddar (it's what I had) because cheese.  

Lastly,  I didn't use a hand-mixer at all.  So, it's a chunky consistency, BUT I'm not trying to "hide" what it is....I'm making it for my mom and I (who both really like cauliflower.)  If I was making it to try to pass off to my non-cauli loving kids....I might actually mix it.  Instead, I just used my hand-masher and let it be.  

This was amazeballs.  Nothing short of amazeballs.  I LOVED it.  My mom LOVED it.  My non-cauli-loving husband said "that's pretty good."  See?  Amazeballs.

1 med/ large head of cauliflower chopped up small
5 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 cup light cream
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic 3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 and 1/2 Tbs Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Paprika
Non stick spray ( I used Olive oil spray)
Pre heat oven to 350°
Chop Cauliflower and add to a boiling pot of hot water and boil for 10- 12 minutes.
Drain cauliflower well. ( while draining in colander.. I push out any excess water out with paper towels.)
Meanwhile in a bowl combine the cream cheese, light cream, salt, garlic and Parmesan cheese and using hand mixer mix until blended... add cooked cauliflower and mash together with mixture. I then use hand mixed to mix ..leaving some small chunks and place into greased baking dish, top with cheese sprinkle with paprika and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese starts to lightly brown.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Two for Tuesday

Printable Maps this week in co-op we are going to be talking about the 7 continents, so I printed maps of each of the continents and I will laminate them and let the kids try to put together Pangea.

Later on in this unit we will be discussing specific countries, and I think this will be a fun game to play:  The Continent Game  I'm currently trying to figure out a way to possibly adapt it to just the names of the continents....

And then I found this:  Continent Hop  My co-leader is bringing a globe, and I think we can adapt this game using the globe.  FUN!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Snapshot Sunday

Winter can suck it.  But, here is Three's snow angel. 

One and Two spent the snow days looking at old journals and notebooks and laughing A LOT.  (They both had all sorts of notebooks and journals that they wrote/drew in from the time they were 8 until they were probably 12....I kept them all and they dug them out of the attic.)

And, coloring.  

"No,'s ok mom, I'll just lay right here."

Short vowel word sort.

Testing for Yellow Belt.

This is what happens when I say "go do something else while your brother reads to me."  I clearly mean "wrap yourself in the blanket and lie on the floor 2 ft from me."

The sloth at our science museum was very active when we were there this week!

After co-op we went to the park, rode the merry-go-round and the train.

This picture is from a hike we did in January but the friend that took it just sent it to me, and I had to share.  This kid and his dimples.  <3 p="">

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sideways Saturday: A vacation!!!

We haven't gone on vacation since December of 2013.  I know for some of you, that doesn't seem like that long.  BUT we had become accustomed to getting away around Xmas each year, and then in 2014 it just wasn't a possibility.  We were all bummed.  So, when The Punk suggested that we go away for Easter weekend since he and I both have Good Friday off, I was *all in!*  Then, he looked and decided that the beach trip (our usual 'go to') was just out of the budget and he dismissively said "we'll just do it another time."  I was having none of that.  I just understand that logistically since I work on Monday and Friday another "long weekend" that works for both of us isn't going to happen any time soon.  So, I set out to find another option.  Something that would fall into our budget, and still be fun AND maybe something new.  I found it.  We are getting away to the mountains.  I've never been to the Appalachian Mountains (I've been to the Rocky Mountains though, WOOT.)  None of the kids have either.  So, it will be a new experience all around.  We can hike (something we all enjoy doing,) visit some caverns-I already am planning a lesson on stalactites and stalagmites-and also enjoy the hot tub and fire pit on site where we are staying.  I'm SUPER stoked about this.

Now, I wait a month.

And, we will get to the beach for Mother's Day (it's my gift to myself each year...a day trip to the beach with the kids) as well as for One's 17th birthday this summer (she's asked for a girls beach trip with her two best friends and her sister.)  AND I am immensely hopeful that I am going to successfully budget in a Xmas trip this year.  Seeing how much my kids preferred that to having more gifts here at home really stuck with me.  That we ALL preferred having 4 days together at the beach, and just a couple presents makes me feel like a winner.  I'm going to do my best to make that a reality again this year.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Flashback Friday

Wordy Wednesday: Do you.   I think this was the FIRST "do you" posts I penned.  It still holds true, and I am currently starting another Day Zero Project.  I logged in, and was able to cross 20 things off that list (which I had actually forgotten all about!) and was happy to see that even without looking at the list, I was still moving forward and accomplishing things that I wanted to do.

"My Ladies.." (which is what I call my senior citizen fitness class gals) mentioned that I'm always doing new 'crazy' stuff.  They meant CrossFit, Aerial Bootcamp, Mud Runs...etc, and I told them that I LOVE doing new things, trying new things, pushing myself and growing.  It's something I never want to stop.

So, now I'm off to create a new list.  *it will include some of the non-crossed off things on my original list, as some of them I'm still very interested in doing.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Skinny Housewife

If you've read here before, you know I'm big into training FOR things.  It helps motivate me and keeps me going.  Currently, I'm training for a Spartan Race series (3 races this year, Spartan Trifecta is calling my name.)  Plus, it gets me through the ENTIRE year, because there are races in April, August, and November.  

In order to build up my upper body strength-I have kick ass legs from Zumba and running-I've started a program on  I'm only in week 4, but I can see differences in my body already that are making me SUPER happy, and motivated.  I didn't set my alarm to go to the gym this morning (which I usually do) because I was SUPER exhausted yesterday, and honestly fell asleep at 8:30.  The Punk asked if I was going to the gym today (because today we don't have anything else going on, which means I COULD go at a time other than ass-crack-of-dawn...) and I said "I don't know....we'll see how sore I am, and how energized I feel once I get moving."  I just wasn't feeling it.  I'm not sleepy tired, but I'm PMS tired.  I'm sore, in every muscle group (except abs...and it's ab day...)  

Then, I rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom.  I started looking in the mirror.  I decided that my abs look better than they've ever looked.  I mean...I had 4 babies, all over 8 1/2 lbs.  My stomach is never going to be perfect, and I'm cool with that.  But, I am definitely seeing progress.  Then I turned to the side and noticed my butt (which is seriously my best ASSet) looks better too.   Perkier.  Tighter.  And, I can SEE my quads and hamstrings when I'm wearing work out gear (spandex pants, anyone??)   Ok, ok....I'm going to the gym.  

It's hard to lay out of the workout, after noticing results.  

This LiveFit with Jamie Eason  12 week program is what I am currently using.  When it's done, I'll move to the "fat burner" program most likely.  However, they have LOTS of options, and I may poke around a little more before I commit.  I may move to a "build strength" program that is tougher than this one.  If you go to the main site, choose training, find a takes you through some choices for what you are looking for.  I'm really enjoying the LiveFit, and I think it's been good for a beginner.  I have previously never lifted weights (I mean, I've done Bikini Body Mommy with 10 lb dumbells, and I teach a senior class where we use dumbells...but nothing more than that.)  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I can actually lift.  I also really like that Jamie Eason doesn't look "bulky," she just looks extremely toned.  That's what I'm looking to accomplish.  

Go check out the site!  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wordy Wednesday

Last week, I was asked why I homeschool. By a complete and total stranger.

It went like this:

Me:  well, my oldest is...well, she's different. Always has been and I just never thought a traditional school would be a good fit for her.  Then, when the other kids came, I figured why send them if I was going to be home with her anyway?

The stranger:  Is she really shy?

Me:  No, actually, she's quite outgoing.

The stranger:  That's a real concern though, for homeschool kids.

Me:  My kids do just fine in public.  In fact, people often don't realize they are homeschooled at all.

The stranger:   Oh.  That's great.

(thinking--Me:  Well, thanks for your approval.)

Me:  Thanks.

The stranger:  What do you think the most important thing to teach your kids is?

Me:  Honestly?  My top 3 would be:  basic math skills, reading and comprehension, and HOW TO LEARN.  That last one is KEY.  Because you know what?  As an adult I still run into things that I don't know or understand.  BUT...I am capable of looking up information and reading and LEARNING.  I think that is the biggest thing to know.

The stranger:  That's a really good point (Me, again thinking:  thanks for your approval.)  I don't think they do a good job of that in public school.

Me:  Me either.  (Thinking...I just won.)

I read this yesterday, and I just need to say everyone should read it, and I heart Mike Rowe.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Manic Monday

Argh!  This weekend just got away with me. I was sick ALL day Saturday, like...couldn't get out of bed sick. So yesterday we had a "mock" Valentine's Day dinner. Remember the great dinner plans I mentioned?  And that cake I was going to bake?  Those things happened. Just belated. Luckily, my kids were really understanding about the whole thing. Two had a virus on Thursday/Friday and judging by symptomology she passed that a long to me. Nausea, intense headache, dizzy, weak, chills and sweating. It was a party up in here. The upside(s)?  No puking and it was a quick mover..about 24 hrs. 

I did manage to pull together our V-Day celebrations together but it took all my strength. Hoping a good nights sleep is going to give me what I need to get through my classes this morning. 

Here are our pics from last week (since I crashed hard last night and didn't get up our Sunday Snapshots.)

Ninjas dancing "gangnam style"

Making out Valentines for their co-op friends

Making a species card in one of the amazing lab facilities that our science museum has to offer. 

Trying to get a pic of them before we went to the theater last week. 

Outside the theater (this was Four's shot set-up)

Man down, man down!  (I don't make a habit of snapping pics of my kids sick..but The Bestie's middlest daughter's birthday party was roughly 24 hours of the time of this pic, and I used it to tell The Bestie why we would be unable to come.). She slept off and on, on the couch where her brothers were being loud, for 6 hours. It was a rough virus, this one. 

I got this great hand made hat from a Canadian friend this week. Can't wait to wear it this morning.

Valentine's candy heart experiments. (Four leaned back right as I snapped the shot, and I never have claimed to be a good there you have it.) 

A lego creation from the mind of Three: