Friday, October 1, 2010

Gearing up for Fire Safety Month & Our New Art Class

So I'm combining two posts into one...I'm just plain lazy like that! 

This week was filled with a lot of learning and some really fun activities.  On Tuesday, we took a field trip to the New Boston Fire Department...about 20-30 minutes from our house.  This is a Volunteer Fire Department, but we learned that they still have to follow the same state/federal guidelines and regulations as paid fire departments.  I have a new respect for Volunteer Firefighters!  They don't get paid one penny for all time they spend training or fighting fires.  All of the men and women from this department (save the one paid Fire Marshall position) maintain full-time jobs in order to provide for their families....which means that they have to use up their vacation time (if they even get that) in order to attend training functions, etc. 

In addition to all of the typical Fire Safety stuff they teach kids, we also got to see what a firefighter looks like when he/she's all dressed up and ready for firefighting, which is very different from the little cartoon-looking guys in the red overcoats and cute little red hats.  Two of the firemen got dressed up (we learned that the State of Texas requires them to be able to don their suits and gear and be ready to go in under 60 seconds...I don't see how on earth they do it!!) and walked around and talked to the kids and let the kids touch their suits and ask questions.  By doing this, they helped the younger kids see that they were just regular guys dressed up in a suit and not to be afraid of their Darth Vader-like appearance and sound. 

Here are some pics of our trip:

First, the boots and pants, then the coat.

Next the gear on his back - looks heavy!!

Then comes the "Darth Vader" mask...

And the head gear, helmet, and gloves are last!

They said lots of kids hide from them because they look scary in all their gear. 
But we learned "Don't Hide!  Go Outside!!"

My kids were a little reluctant to touch him - but I later found out that it wasn't because
they were scared of him, it was because they didn't like invading his personal space.  Lol...
My thoughtful kiddos!  : )

A very special thank you goes out to these firefighters,
and to all who risk their lives to make our communities a safer place!  : )

So when we finished up at the New Boston Fire Department, we drove home for a quick 20 minute snack/bathroom break, and hopped back into the car and made our way to Old Washington State Park (about 10 min. outside of Hope, AR - a good 45 minute drive from our house).   The homeschoolers of Old Washington and the surrounding areas were hosting an Art Class.  It was GREAT!  One of the local artists / teachers was on hand to show the kids how to do Pointillism and Storyboards.  This class was a God-send!  I've been pricing art lessons locally, because I know how very NON-artistic I am, and was flabbergasted (genuine southern word!!) at the cost for lessons!!  We just can't afford $75 / month per child!!  That's outrageous!!  Holy Smokes!  (See I'm still flabbergasted!)  Anyway, I was very relieved that this class was only $5 per child!!!!  I can hear the angels singing "Hallelujah!" in the background even now!!

So here are our pictures of our first Art Class - a bit of a drive, but CHEAP and soooo worth it!!! 

Starting with Pointillism

Getting those creative juices flowing!

After Art Class on Tuesday, we made a mad dash home and made it just in time for Addie's cheerleader practice at 5pm, and my weigh in at my weight loss challenge at 6pm!  It was such a busy day, but so worth every minute!!  The rest of the week was spent recuperating from Tuesdays activities and doing our normal homeschool lessons.  I did begin a new program with Lindsay, which seems VERY promising - I think she may be reading soon!!!  :)  I want to be sure it's working before I make my mind up about it though - stay tuned for updates on that front!  : ) 

Hope everyone has a marvelous weekend!!!  :) 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Fall, Y'all!!

Last week was really fun - our homeschool group got to attend Kids Day at the's nice for parents because the rides aren't open, so we didn't have to compete for our children's attention during fun lessons of dairy farming (we got to watch a farmer milk a live cow!), agriculture, and farm animals.  We also got to attend a rodeo that featured kids of all ages from 5 - 17!  They had the cutest little 5 year old barrel racer!!!

But of course, no trip to the fair would be complete without some rides, so we splurged and took them back the next night to ride the rides and take in as much fair food as their tummies could hold!  We also went back for the "real" rodeo.   It was a really fun week last week!! 

Kind of sad our little fair is over, but today made my year!!  I woke up to the most beautiful surprise this morning:  crisp air flowing through my open windows and beautiful autumn sunshine!!!  I just couldn't fathom the idea of being cooped up in the house all day, so for the kid's lunch break, I surprised them with a picnic in the park.  We brought along bread to feed the geese (sorry no pictures - my phone's battery was almost dead), and then played until it was time to go home and finish our schoolwork.

Lindsay (right) with a park friend

Getting ready to go ZOOM!!

You can do it, Addie!!!
My little Monkey Man!

 They had a BLAST!  Hope everyone was able to get outside and enjoy this beautiful day like we did!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School Time!!

Ok, so we've technically been "Back to School" since August 2nd.  I'm such a blogging slacker!!  I really do have good intentions - I really do.  I have these visions of including lesson plans followed by pictures of happy children doing cool and exciting projects.  But unfortunately for me (or should I say "fortunately for you?"), I just can't seem to find the time that I had last year!  I know this sounds really stupid, but did you know that it takes a LOT more time out of your day to homeschool 3 children than it does 1 child??  Ha! 

So to fill you in on the happenings of our first month of school.........

Addison had a GREAT first day!  She was really excited to find that she no longer has to raise her hand to ask a question.  She was even more excited to find that Mom will go back over a math problem as many times as needed until she catches on - before we move ahead.  She loves the NO HOMEWORK rule!!  (The only time they have homework is if - for whatever reason - the work doesn't get done during the day.)  But she especially loves all the math games we play - she and Trey actually tied in this multiplication review game that tested speed and knowledge.  :)  For the purpose of our Game Time, we change our names.  Addie is known as "Bob," and Trey is "Eugene."  It helps get them in Game Show Mode!  LOL!  :) 

We took a few days of our second week of school to visit the great folks of Washington, AR, as they had Craft Days at the Old Washington Fire Station/Community Center/Library.  (LOL - gotta love small towns!)  I've got to tell you - I've always loved small towns.  I grew up in a small town, and I miss it like crazy.  But the people in this tiny little town are just tooooo amazing!!  They didn't know us - we just showed up.  We weren't in their homeschool group, nor had we ever attended a function like this in their town.  But they welcomed us with open arms, treated my children as if they were their own, and taught them things like drawing and sewing.  My kids had the absolute BEST time ever while we were there, and developed what I hope to be lasting friendships with GREAT kids!  

Addie and Lindsay each sewed a stocking, and on our way home we stopped by Hancocks and bought fabric that they used to make baby doll blankets and pillows. 

Trey wasn't really into the sewing class, so I brought along my camera for him to play around with.  He took pictures of various buildings and other sights all over town, and I think they turned out pretty great!!  I might have a little photographer on my hands!!  Here are some of my favorites!

As far as lessons are concerned, we've been doing an in-depth study of Native Americans, which was not originally supposed to take as long as it is.  But once we got started, I became acutely aware that I was moving too fast to fully explain the complexities of the subject - of their heritage.  So I slowed down, and now we are learning about our Native American heritage with more excitement and interest than before.  :)  We even did our own petroglyphs during our discussion of the Anasazi.  We have moved through the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs, through the Hopewell Mound Builders, and are now starting a focus on the Iroquois. 

(Our Petroglyphs)

As previously stated, I've got a new schedule that I'm using, and it seems to be working really well.  I'm doing group lessons (Science, Bible, and History) in the morning, snacktime while I read aloud to them, and then I do 5th grade lessons until  lunch while Lindsay works on workboxes.  After an hour lunchbreak, I start Lindsay's Kindergarten "lessons" - phonics, math, reading aloud, etc.  Her "fun stuff" is reserved for the workboxes in the morning time.  We're usually done by 2:30 or 3pm.  One of her favorite math activities is the using the Logic Blocks - she sorts by thickness, color, shape, and size.  These were given to us by a family friend, and WE LOVE THEM!! 

So I guess now you're all caught up - and it is my sincere intention to keep you that way.  We have lots of plans for our school year, and can't wait for it all!!  :)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ready to Get Started!

So it's really no secret that I've always wanted to homeschool ALL of my children.  The hubs really didn't like the idea of pulling Addison out of her advanced Math and Engineering school.  And honestly, I was not totally confident in my abilities as a teacher to keep up with her.  She's very bright.  Very.  And Lindsay - well, he had mixed feelings about not allowing her to attend Kindergarten, which would undoubtedly be a lot of fun for our little socialite. 

But over the past 2 years of homeschooling Trey, I've gained the confidence I needed and I approached my husband again about homeschooling Addison and Lindsay.  I couldn't believe my ears when he said, "Do it!"  I was so excited!  Since I had already purchased Trey's curriculum for next year, I went and bought duplicates for Addison.  She's 13 months younger than Trey, and would be in 4th grade next year in public school.  But that school works at least 1 year (sometimes 2 years) ahead than other public schools.  So she's totally ready for 5th grade.  So I've decided to put them in the same grade, and teach them together!!  Lindsay will be moving to Kindergarten a year early.  A good friend of mine (a Kindergarten teacher) urged me a couple of years ago to just let her be little while she still can.  "Don't rush things," she said.  Well, that was 2 years ago, and she had just turned 3.  I was trying to push a Kindergarten curriculum on her way too early.  She wanted to play school with us, but she wasn't really interested in DOING school.  Ya know?  So I decided to let her go play.  For Pre-K, I did some stuff with her, but I mostly let her call the shots.  When she wanted to learn, I would teach her.  When she wanted to play, I would play with her. 

But that was last year, when I was only seriously homeschooling one child.  My schedule was more relaxed because Trey was able to work more independently for a lot of subjects.  But this year, I'm going to have 2 in 5th grade, and I really want Lindsay to have a little more structure in her day.  So I've designed a daily schedule that will allow us all to have group time, independent time, and one-on-one time with Mom.  :)  I am really excited.  Take a look and see what you think.*A

I've been working diligently on my lesson plans all Summer.  I think I've finally got most of it done.  I still have some of my special classes to think about - like Cooking, and other fun stuff, but for the most part, all that's left to do is organize everything into my final lesson planning pages, and shop for supplies. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sad Start to Mother's Day Weekend

I just don't know where to begin.  I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest.  My sweet baby girl was bitten by my sweet little dog.  We're not talking a small little snap, either.  He. BIT. her.  Her upper lip had a gaping hole in it. 

I was putting away our wares from our trip to Sam's, when I heard him snap at her.  I turned around to see her kneeling on the floor beside him.   I've been after her all week because she'd been playing really rough with him.  She's 4 - that's what 4 year old's do.  But she had been pulling on his tail, and trying to give him a buzz cut with a hand-held fan, and I guess he'd just had enough. 

We rushed her to the ER.  She was screaming the entire way...not because she was upset about her mouth, but because she knew that our beloved family pet would have to go live somewhere else.  The ER team was excellent; they were able to use the liquid stitches to "glue" her lip back together.  They said that if the glue holds, she shouldn't have any scarring - as long as we put Vitamin E on it after it's completely healed.  She was so brave.  They also gave us antibiotics to help fight against infection. 

The ER was legally obligated to notify the police department because it was an animal bite, so we had an animal control officer show up at our home to take an incident report.  Ugh. 

I am suffering from overwhelming guilt over this because Stitch is MY dog.  He's always been MY dog.  If you're a dog person, you know what I mean.  He and I just bonded the instant we met.  I've spoiled him rotten, and I just love him to pieces.  But I just can't have a dog in my home that will do this to my child.  I just can't.  So, it's gonna hurt, and I'm very sad....but there's just no decision to make here. 

I called my sister in tears, to tell her that I was going to have to find Stitch (ironically named, considering the circumstances, I know) a new home. She offered to take him. Her boys are older, and they both love him. So this will be a good thing....but I hate it.

To say that my husband is upset about this would be the understatement of the year.  He did very well by not killing him.  I just wouldn't be able to stand that....the dog had just had enough torment for one day.  He knew he had messed up pretty bad, because he hanged his head in shame all night.  He's still not allowed to come out of the bedroom - I leave our french doors open in our bedroom so he can come in and out that way.  He knows something's wrong - and that's sad to me. 

Don't get me wrong here - there is no dog on this planet who will ever mean more to me than my own children.  I'm more of a Mama Bear than anyone I a fault sometimes.  But I don't completely place all the blame on the dog, either.  He was just tired of being picked up, grabbed, poked on, and pulled on.  That's no excuse - but he's only lived with us since January.  We believe he may have belonged to a little old lady who died in a housefire before he showed up at a friend's house starving.  We rescued him, and he's been with us ever since.  He's very loving; but I don't think he's used to being with little kids.  He's growled at her before when she was "hugging" him, and he scratched her once.  But this was just the last straw.  He's got to go.  I'm sad.  But I know this is the best thing for all of us.  :( 


Friday, April 23, 2010

Our Classroom!!

If you're like me, you love to surf the web in search of pics of other homeschool classrooms.  But to be honest, there's just not very many pictures out there.  What's up with that??  Are people afraid that some serial stalker will show up at their home, based on an interior shot of their school room??  Good golly!  Seriously?

So in honor of my fellow stalkers browsers...this one's for you!

Heritage Homeschool

This used to be the Dining Room.  There was a hu. MON. gous crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling (lol, where else would it be?).  We replaced it with a much needed ceiling fan.  There was so much wallpaper, it made my head hurt.  Below the chair rail was painted burgandy.  The chair rail itself was pink.  The door was also pink.  The wallpaper put up a great fight - winning round 1.  However, I finished strong with a 1-2 punch of Texture (Joint Compound) and Paint.  I think it turned out great~  The green carpet will have to stay until we get a wealthier!  So I tried to work it into the overall scheme of the room.  I don't think it's quite AS noticable...until I point it out anyway!  :O

Reading Spot

I found the bean bag chair at Wal-Mart online for about $40.  Free site to store shipping!! 

I took down the pink door - it's handy to be able to see all the way through the kitchen when you have a preschooler running around the house!  And yes - my OCD immediately took over when I saw this pic and I've already climbed the ladder to fix the crooked-ness of my alphabet. 

That's an old Hoosier cabinet that belonged to my great grandmother.  I've always loved that piece, and when we moved I was sad to find that I didn't have a spot for it in my kitchen.  I think this is the next best thing.  I love using antiques for everyday tasks...I think they have a spirit about them that longs for use and appreciation.  I just taped some colored paper to the door inserts, so I could rotate artwork and quotes in and out.  Here's an upclose shot....

And another...

Moving on to the other side of the room...

My desk and antique armoir supply cabinet.  For my desk, I chose really cheap kitchen base cabinets, and an inexpensive countertop for the surface.  I intentionally moved over the left base cabinet a little so I would have storage space for my bulletin board stuff underneath.  

The hubs was kind enough to build me some shelves to go inside the cabinet.  I've had this piece since I was in high school, and it's served many purposes.  It's been a TV cabinet, extra closet, blanket storage, and media it's home to many, many supplies.........

A glimpse into my life of OCD...even my label maker is labeled.   Oh - and I was pleased to find that the little storage caddy fit perfectly inside the cabinet - like a glove!!  You can find them anywhere, but I got mine here at Target, I think.  I just took out the colored bins (using them in various places around the room and throughout the house), and replaced them with clear shoe-box type bins with lids. 

See? I told you I use the colored bins!!! Much too pretty to be locked away in a cabinet! I love organizing books this way - especially for my preschooler.

I rotate books in and out of these bins periodically, so the kids don't get bored, and so I don't have 12 bookshelves in my schoolroom...I don't have the room, and I hate the cluttered look. The other books are stored in the cabinets in our living room.

I find that the kiddos are much more likely to put their books back where they belong, if where they belong is not a mosh pit of paper cuts. This way, Lindsay can pull out her bin, thumb through it, find the perfect book, and then put it away when she's done.  Genius, I can stop clapping now... ; )

So there you have it - your own personal tour through Heritage Homeschool!  I hope this inspires some of my fellow homeschoolers to get that camera out and post some pics of their classrooms for the rest of us to snoop through!  :)   Have a great weekend!!

Workboxes - Back to Stay!

If you followed my previous blog, you may remember that I tried the whole "Sue Patrick Workbox System" craze last year.  I'm such a rule-follower, that it never occurred to me to *tweak* the idea to make it work for us, until I started seeing that other people were successfully using Sue's idea, but making it work for their indiviual needs.  I rushed out and bought 12 of the traditional plastic shoeboxes, knowing full well that our books would never fit and my OCD nature would have me in fits that I couldn't keep them looking tidy. 

And at the time, we really didn't have room for them - we were doing our lessons in our breakfast area in our kitchen.  Then we moved to the dining area, which wasn't much better.  But we really liked the idea - Trey is just like his mother.  He likes organized and scheduled spontanaeity.  I know - weird.  We like surprises, but only if we know how they fit into our plan for the day - and it helps to know that we're being surprised. 

So when we moved into our new house and I was able to have an actual classroom, I decided to get with the program again.  But this time (being less "new" to homeschooling has given me a greater sense of confidence in my decision to stray from the rules a bit.  lol), I did my research and found these Sterilite Latch Boxes at Wal-Mart that fit a standard size textbook PERFECTLY!  (I bought mine individually in the store, not in the set they have online).  The handles latch the box closed so Trey can stack them neatly once he's finished with his boxes.  They also have different sizes available, which is great because some of my workboxes include chore cards or suprise cards that don't take up as much space, thereby eliminating the wasted space in a bigger box.  I do use a couple of shoebox size boxes, too, because I like that size for crafty-type workboxes, and all of Trey's smaller workbooks, magazines, mad libs, etc.  Here's what our workbox station looks like:  drumroll, please......................................

The green box on the floor is where he puts all of his workbox contents once he's completed the assignment. 

This works well for us because the boxes and contents are separated immediately, rather than piling them all together in one large tub, where everything gets all jumbled up. 

The boxes get stacked on the right, the box contents go in the green tub, and his completed assignments (in paper form) go into a tray on my desk labeled "Completed Work".  (BTW, there's a second tray on my desk labeled "Graded Work," that Trey checks at the end of each day and places in his Portfolio Binder.  It really saves me from having to dig for his work.  I like organization. 

 This is a pic of our larger, textbook-sized workbox.  There's plenty of room for his book, paper, pencils, etc. 

I can't really say enough good things about these boxes - I. love. them. 

They have the interlocking grooves on the top so they can be stacked together and not fall over!  I know - I'm easily excited. 

I got 3 different sizes of these - because we have different sized activities.  They have the shoebox size available, but I couldn't justify buying them when I already had some at home.  :(  Yes, the OCD in me is really bothered by the aesthetic difference. 

And we're stacking.....

I have to say - I hated the schedule cards that were part of Sue's system.  Not just a little, either.  I really hated them.  Trey didn't like them either because they made him feel like a preschooler. 

So in lieu of the schedule cards, I decided on this idea.  He likes file folders (trained him well, I know!).  So I have devised a 2 or 3 page schedule list that I print out each morning.  Snacks, Lunch, and Playtime are all built in to the schedule, just as Sue suggested, and that works well for Trey.  In fact, he just loves it.  I no longer hear 400 times a day: "Mom, what all do we have to do after this??"

Each morning, after he finishes his morning chores, Trey comes to the school room at 9am.  He takes the folder of the appropriate day of the week and places it on his desk.  Then he gets to work checking off each Box Number. 

I try to include at least 2 "Surprise" Cards a day...Trey loves these.  They are as simple as 30 minutes of Computer Time, or as elaborate as a surprise field trip to see a real steam engine roll into town.  We also do a lot of picnics, art cabinet raids, hiking at the park, Mad Libs, Bananagrams, Dominoes (great for Math!!), and other fun stuff like designing a bicycle obstacle course. 

Trey loves the workbox system and so do helps us to stay organized, but it also reminds us to schedule a little fun into our day as well!! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lindsay's Preschool Lessons - April 12 - 16, 2010

I found the coolest mini-unit study on called From Caterpillar to Butterfly.  It's only $1.99, and worth every penny!!  (No, I'm not a paid advertiser, but I when I like something I let people know about it!)  :) 

I had been waiting to start this particular unit because I really wanted to find my Very Hungry Caterpillar book from a box that has been missing since our move.  Well...the VERY day that I gave up all hope of finding my own copy, and reluctantly decided to purchase another one, I went to our homeschool group's monthly meeting where we were having a Book Swap.  And the very book I needed was on a table labled "FREE"!!!!  Can you believe my luck?  I mean, it's not like the book would have broken the bank anyway, but still!  I never get this lucky!  I was really excited!!  Ok, so it doesn't take much to excite me.  :)  Moving on...

We started with B is for Butterfly.  Then moved on to C is for Caterpillar.   We are now going over the #7, and will move on to the Life Cycle of a Butterfly, Nutrition, Mazes, and Sequencing.  The booklet I downloaded also includes Narration Ideas for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so that she can explain different concepts to me in different ways, using different mediums like play-doh, crayons, etc.

There are loads of other activities that we have planned that are outlined in the ebook, but I wouldn't feel right posting them on here since they're not my ideas.  :)  I urge you to get this and try it out.  It's small, so it's great for a mini-unit for the week.  :) 

Hope everyone is having a great week!!  :) 

Trey's Lesson Plans - April 12 - 16

Wow - it's already Wednesday!  What a wonderful week it's turning out to be!  Last week, Trey and I finished up our unit on Electricity.  We made a very cool game called the Steady Hand Game using a Series Circuit, a block of wood, and some welding wire.  It's similar to the game "Operation," but without all the bells and whistles.  It was fun, though!  I'll write another post explaining the procedures with pictures a little later on - so stay tuned!  :) 

ALSO!!!!  My little man was BAPTIZED this past Sunday!!!  I was so proud of him!!!  :)  Woo hoo!!!  What a wonderful little soldier he will be in God's Army!! 

Here are our plans for this week:

For Trey

Math -
  • Metric Capacity (Gallon Man!!)

Science -
  • Begin unit on Sound and Light
  • Experiment:  What makes sound change?  Tie a string around the neck of a 2 L bottle (tie in with Capacity!!!), Fill the bottle about 1/3 full, and screw on cap.  Use the string to hang so the bottle hangs freely.  Pluck the string and watch to see if the water vibrates.  Experiment with plucking the string gently/hard, how far the bottle hangs down, how much water you fill it with, etc. 
  • Discuss Sound Energy (Tie in with music - use Guitar)
Reading -
  • Koya's Cousin Del 
  • Skill Lesson : Visualizing
  • Also read selections from Little House on the Prairie with eyes closed - How does it look to you?  How do you feel? 
Social Studies -
  • The Southwest - Grand Canyon, Saguaro Nat'l Park, Arizona, Beaumont, Texas.
Spelling -
  • Plural Possessives
Grammar, Usage, Mechanics (GUM)
  • Comparing with Adjectives - use adjectives to compare two people, places, things. 
  • 2 or more syllables = use "more/most"  (Most Beautiful)
  • 1 syllable = just ad -er  (Smaller)
Writing Skills
  • Library Skills
  • Card Catalog
  • Call #'s
  • Dewey Decimal System
  • FIELD TRIP:  Library Scavenger Hunt!!!!  Use learned Library Skills to find books on list! 
  • Why Am I Here?
  • To Love and Obey God. (Abraham's Sacrifice)
  • To Praise God. (Paul and Silas, David)
  • To Worship God. (Israelites Worshipped Golden Calf, Moses)
  • To Serve God. (Daniel, Making Choices, Priorities)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Matching/Memory Game with CUPCAKES!!

For Easter, my mother gave the kiddos each a craft kit (GREAT alternative to giving them more chocolate, by the way).  Trey got a drawing set, Addison got a card making kit, and Lindsay (bless her heart), got a cupcake decorating kit. 

The kit came with a book full of really cool decorating ideas (which she'll probably use when she's a little older b/c they were fairly advanced), a piping bag with all the tips, and a silicon cupcake baking pan. 

When we drove up in the driveway that Sunday night at 9pm (after 3 1/2 hours in the car) , Lindsay was already asking where her apron was.  I promised her that we would get to them on Monday, and that she would be decorating in no time.  Well, we baked Monday night during dinner preparations, but had to let them cool overnight.  FINALLY, Tuesday morning arrived and she was going to decorate those cupcakes if it was the last thing she did!!  I had to beg her to allow me to at least get Addison to school first, and she reluctantly agreed. 
She was so excited Tuesday morning when we returned from dropping Addison off at school!  We donned our aprons, and commenced to frosting, sprinkling, (tasting), and decorating!  The sprinkles were flying in every direction!  I'm still picking them out of my hair. 

And as if that weren't enough fun, I had the wild idea of making our time in the kitchen a learning opportunity - not only about baking and proper kitchen procedures, but I wanted to include some of her language lessons into our baking.  So we made this cupcake matching/memory game!  We laid out all the cupcakes on the counter so she could match them up together.  Then, she ate one!  And since she was only allowed to eat one for morning snack and one for after dinner snack, she had to remember which one she ate first so she could eat it's match after dinner.  It was a really cool game that all the kids enjoyed.  :) 

A is for Apple

B is for Bee!

C is for Caterpillar (don't make fun of my deformed caterpillar!)

D is for Dora (who else??)

And our cupcake decorating session wouldn't be complete without a final tribute cupcake for her grandmother, "B" for giving her this lovely gift!! 

Thanks B!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What to Do with Leftover Easter Candy

Did Aunt Myrtle give the kiddos an extra dose of chocolate for Easter this year?  Are your kids eating candy for breakfast?  Here's my alternative to a sugar-induced coma...

We always travel to my mom's house for Easter.  I allow the kids to indulge in the sugary goodness of the weekend.  Then, when we return Sunday night, we pour all the candy into a collective ziploc.  And we make a big production of storing their Easter baskets in the closet for next year. 

I then separate the chocolate candy and marshmallow peeps from the rest of the candy (which is used for treats for extra chores, special lunchbox treats, crafts, etc.). 

The chocolate candy and peeps can be used with graham crackers to make Smores for Spring camping trips, sleepovers, or an evening by the pool.  Here's my quick and easy recipe:

One Smore:
2 graham crackers
2 or 3 mini Hershey bars
1 marshmallow Peep

Microwave about 40 seconds or until melty and YUMMY!!  :) 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Whooaaaa Nellie!!!

Well, I think I've got the technical difficulty figured thanks to blogger or their ever helpful message board/forum thing that they urge you to post to before contacting an actual person, yet no one ever answers said question.  Err...can ya tell I'm a little miffed about all this?

Anywho...over a month later, I RETURN!  Yay!  I've missed everything!  It's going to take me 40 forevers just to read through everyone's posts and try to hit everybody back that followed me from the Friday Follow.  Please be patient with me.  I'm on the edge, I tell ya!! 

For those who are interested in how the past month has gone for us, let me just say that it's been wild.  On the 10th of February, I had a minor surgery which kept me in bed for a few days.  So Gary had to take off to help take care of the kiddos, house, and homeschool.  He was amazing, and I'm so thankful that I have a husband who would drop everything to take care of me when I need it most.  I'm still trying to get caught back up on laundry and chores, but those are small things compared to everything he did for me!!

In addition to homeschool lessons, we now have T-Ball practice for Lindsay.  Addie had got a speaking part in the school play, and may I just child was the BEST!?!   ; )  Trey filmed it for us, but unless you enjoyed the Blair Witch Project - type cinematography, you'd probably get ill if I posted it. 

We also got a wonderful snow earlier in the month.  Oddly enough, the next weekend, the temps were in the 60's.  Texas - you just gotta love it here!!  And since the weather has been really nice for the past couple of weeks, the kids have found themselves traipsing (yeah, I really used that word!!)  all around the neighborhood, meeting new friends, having NERF wars, sleepovers, and trampoline contests.  It's been great to see them so happy.  Especially Trey - he loves homeschooling, but was starting to miss having friends that he can play with regularly.  They were even invited to a skating party for Trey's new "best friend."  This move has been the answer to our prayers!! 

Speaking of the move - I'm still working on the wallpaper in the kids bathroom.  I managed to get the top layer off, but the paper backing is still firmly affixed to the wall.  They glued it right to the sheetrock!!!  It makes me so mad because on the small areas where they had overspray from painting the trim, the wallpaper came off sooo easily!  All the contractor had to do was apply a coat of primer before he wallpapered, and my life would be so much easier right now!!   URGGHH!!!  I've tried a wallpaper steamer, and it does nothing.  I tried really hot liquid fabric softener and water....2 hours later, I had a 2 x 2 square peeled off.  Errrr....

If anyone has any suggestions for how to get this stuff off my wall - PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!  I'm seriously thinking that the best way to get it off is going to involve a match and a can of gasoline.  I'm only half teasing.  LOL....

It's great to be back - I promise to spend some time this week trying to hit back everyone who followed me on Friday Follow before my massive computer meltdown!!  Hope you guys have a great week!! : )

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Technical Difficulties

I am experiencing difficulty keeping a connection to blogger.  I keep getting a notification stating that blogger's security certificate is not available and my navigation is blocked.  I am able to log on for a few minutes, and ignore the warning, but it inevitably kicks me off every time.  So to all those Friday Followers, do not fret---just give me a few days to see if I can get this resolved.  :)  Thanks!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Follow

Friday Follow

Welcome to Follow Friday brought to you by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families, and Midday Escapades! This is my first attempt at this, and I hope I'm doing everything correctly. The ADD kicked in while I was reading through the instructions, so I'm just kind of flying blind now. :)

This Blog Hop is supposed to generate more followers and traffic to your blog, and this is my understanding of how it works:

* Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add to one blog linky.

* Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots. They will follow you back.

* Follow as many blogs as you like.

* Comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow.

* When you get a new follower, follow them back!!

The Blog Hop is the same at each of our three hosts blogs so you do not have to add your blog at each site. Just one - but you can follow each host blog. Here is the great part, they will follow you back.

MckLinky Blog Hop